Salzburg – Where Everything Started …

Salzburg, 9 Getreidegasse: Little Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sees the Light of the World

Panoramic view of the City of Salzburg

Engraving by Johann Baptist Homann (1664–1724) c. 1712 (State and University Library Bremen) Source: Wikimedia
Leopold Mozart playing music with his children Wolfgang Amadeus and Maria Anna in Paris in November 1763

Leopold Mozart playing music with his children Wolfgang Amadeus and Maria Anna in Paris in November 1763

Watercolour by Louis Carrogis Carmontelle (1717–1806) 1763 (Musée Condé, Chantilly) Source: Wikimedia

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first saw the light of the world on January 27, 1756, a bitterly cold day. Little Wolfgang was the seventh child of Anna Maria Mozart and the composer at the court of the prince-archbishop of Salzburg, Leopold Mozart. Music played a central role in the Mozart household. Leopold Mozart was a renowned composer in the employ of Prince-Archbishop Count Schrattenbach and frequently performed with the court ensemble of Salzburg. Little “Wolferl” was his constant companion.

Mozart’s Salzburg was one of countless small towns in the Confederation of German States – strictly Catholic and very provincial. However, the town with its many baroque churches and majestic fortress was extremely wealthy and working for the prince-archbishop was considered to be extremely lucrative employment. In Salzburg, little Mozart grew up in a loving middle-class environment.

"I want to play the second violin!"

At the age of three Wolfgang discovered the piano. Soon he was able to play his first pieces. At the age of four he was able to play the second violin in the rehearsal of a string trio composed by his father – faultlessly despite never having learned to play the instrument. A miracle! Without doubt Leopold Mozart realised that his son was someone very special. From there on Leopold dedicated his time and passion to the musical education of his son and his gifted daughter Nannerl. At times, Leopold Mozart even put aside his own musical career in favour of his children.

Leopold Mozart: Father, Role-Model and Teacher

Leopold Mozart taught Wolfgang and Nannerl to play the piano and the violin. He supported his children with a great deal of imagination and encouraged them to find their own ways. Their musical development became his purpose in life, therefore Leopold Mozart in particular paved the way for the talent of his son Wolfgang to be fulfilled