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5 Things You Didn't Know about Mozart

Things you didn’t know about Mozart

There are few things that go hand in hand as much as “Mozart” and “classical music.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is considered one of the greatest composers of all time – but of course, you already knew that. With famed conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane joining the San Diego Symphony for a weekend filled with Mozart, we thought we’d round up some things about this musical giant you maybe didn’t know.

1. He wrote his first composition at just 4 years old.

A true musical prodigy, Mozart was already highly skilled at the clavier and violin by age 5. His composer and violinist father, Leopold, transcribed Mozart’s earliest compositions for him. He performed his first composition before European royalty and toured a lot as a child musician. Leopold pushed his son to perform and travel – and the extensive travel cost both of them severe illnesses, leaving Mozart sickly for the duration of his life.

2. Mozart had an ... interesting sense of humor.

Despite being heralded as a musical genius with a beautiful collection of compositions under his belt, Mozart had a certain fondness for scatological humor – that is to say, Mozart thought toilet jokes were funny. Often, his letters to his family included crude jokes and it seems his family shared the same sense of humor. 

3. His grave is unknown to this day.

Mozart was buried in a “common grave,” which at the time, simply referred to Mozart being of common status. Only the aristocracy was buried in marked graves. So, to this day, it is not known where Mozart was buried.

4. He was a Freemason

In 1784, Mozart joined the Freemasons, a secret organization that dates back to the 11th century. Some of his most popular works, including “The Magic Flute K.620" and cantata "Dir Seele des Weltalls, K.429” were inspired by Masonic values. 

5. His full name was “Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.”

Try saying that 10 times fast. His preferred name was the much shorter “Wolfgang Amadè,” though his spelling of the name varied in official documents, appearing as “Amadé,” “Amadè,” plain “Amade” and even “Adam.” On top of that, it seemed as though his preference for that name was somehow lost to the public, as most people referred to him as “Wolfgang Amadeus” or “Wolfgang Gottlieb.”        

Celebrate Mozart with us on April 13-15 with Jeffrey Kahane and download Spotify to listen to our Keys for Mozart playlist on your way to the Symphony Hall.

This post was written by Kelly Hillock, marketing assistant, and Stephanie Zumwalt, digital media coordinator, for the San Diego Symphony.

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