A portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

After years of frustration, Mozart enjoys great success on the operatic stage and a meteoric rise in the Viennese artistic scene. He essentially reinvents the keyboard concerto in the process. He also breaks free from his Salzburg employer and his family -- and he marries Constanze Weber.

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But the breakthrough didn't happen easily. Mozart had to get out of his contract with his employer, the Archbishop Colloredo, who reacted by hurling insults at Mozart. To make matters worse, Mozart's own father sided with Colloredo and called Mozart ungrateful and foolish. And just to put a point on the matter, Colloredo had Mozart escorted to the door, where he was given a swift kick on the rear end on his way out. It marked tumultuous start to Mozart's groundbreaking new life as a freelance composer.

This is the third of five episodes on Mozart, kicking off our new podcast The Great Composers. The series, hosted by Karla Walker and Scott O'Neil, offers an intimate look at some of history's greatest musical minds. Subscribe so you don't miss an episode. 

Check out a timeline of key events in Mozart's life, and hear the music featured in this series in our Spotify playlist below.

Timeline: Key Moments in Mozart's Life

Learn more about pivotal points in this great composer's career:

Featured Music From 'The Great Composers: Mozart'

Check out this Spotify playlist and explore nearly eight hours of music heard in this series.

Explore other podcasts from CPR Classical:  Centennial Sounds, featuring Colorado performances of music by 21st-century composers; and The Beethoven 9 @ 9, a look at Beethoven's life through his nine symphonies.