The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation was founded in 1880 by citizens of the town of Salzburg and has its roots in the “Dom-Musik-Verein und Mozarteum” (cathedral music society and Mozarteum) from 1841. Since then, as a nonprofit organization it has made a study of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart’s life and work. In the years 1844 and 1858 Mozart’s two sons, Franz Xaver Wolfgang and Carl Thomas, gifted their father’s estate to the Mozarteum Foundation. This collection, which includes manuscripts, original instruments, portraits and much of the family correspondence, forms the basis of the library, archives and Mozart Museums of the Foundation. Today, with initiatives in three main fields – concerts, research and museums – the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation forges links between maintaining tradition and promoting contemporary culture. The aim is to open up changing perspectives and new ideas in the study of the composer.
Since 1956, around the time of Mozart’s birthday in January, the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation has created an exquisite artistic experience on the international concert scene with the Mozart Week Festival. Distinguished Mozart performers, orchestras and ensembles have made this event the leading Mozart Festival worldwide. Since the Mozart Year in 2006, the contemporary interdisciplinary Dialogues festival has become a meeting point for artists from the fields of music, dance, literature and fine arts whose ideas relate to Mozart. An annual event within the Dialogues festival is the Mozart Requiem, performed on the anniversary of Mozart’s death on 5 December. The September through June concert season gives young musicians and ensembles the opportunity to perform in public. Also, the unique “Propter Homines” organ in the Grosser Saal of the Mozarteum is played as a concert instrument.
The two Mozart museums of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation – Mozart’s Birthplace and the Mozart Residence – house the largest collection of Mozartiana worldwide. Nowhere is the man and his music so directly perceived as in his birthplace. Mozart’s Birthplace is one of the most-visited museums in the world. In the three-story exhibition, the visitor learns details of Mozart’s life – the domestic circumstances in which he grew up, when he began to play music, his friends and patrons, his relationship with his family, his passion for opera, and much more. Besides original portraits and documents, there are rare exhibits from Mozart’s possessions, such as the violin he played as a child and the clavichord at which he composed works including The Magic Flute, and what is probably the best-known authentic portrait, painted two years before his death by his brother-in-law Joseph Lange. The Mozart Residence, largely destroyed in World War II, has been reconstructed to the original plan and was reopened in 1996, as a second Mozart museum. Mozart lived here with his family until he finally moved to Vienna in 1780. With original documents and portraits, the extensive premises presents the history of the house, Mozart’s oeuvre during his years in Salzburg, and the society in which the family moved. Particular attractions are Mozart’s original fortepiano (Anton Walter, Vienna around 1780) and the famous family portrait in the “Tanzmeistersaal” (dancing master’s room).
The Research Department of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation is a multifaceted research center, consolidated within the Mozart Institute. The Academy for Mozart Research counts the world’s leading Mozart scholars among its members and advises the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation in academic affairs. The Bibliotheca Mozartiana, with some 35,000 items (books and articles), is the largest specialized library in the world devoted to the life and works of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. It is housed in a historically preserved reading room located in the main building of the Foundation. The most valuable holding of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation is the collection of original letters and documents as well as autograph music manuscripts from the Mozart family. The collection comprises more than half of all the known documents pertaining to the Mozart family, including some 200 original letters of Mozart, around 300 letters of his father and over 100 autograph music manuscripts. The autograph collection is exhibited in the vault located in the basement of the Mozart Wohnhaus (Mozart residence) and may be viewed by the general public in special, pre-arranged tours. The NMA Online utilizes the music texts of the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, which was prepared between 1954 and 2007 at the Mozarteum Foundation of Salzburg, encompasses 127 volumes of music containing 25,000 pages, and 101 critical reports containing 9,000 pages. As the first complete works edition, the NMA Online is available for all users on the Internet free of charge. The Mozart Audio Visual Collection is the largest special archive for audiovisual records on the life and works of Mozart. With some 22,000 audio and 3,000 video recordings as well as further 16,000 Mozart recordings, all recorded in an online database, the archive creates an excellent link to the present.
The aim of the educational program Klangkarton is to encourage the creativity of children and young people, and to make classical and contemporary music an integral part of young people’s lives. Here it is especially important to include the whole family in our events. To make these accessible to as many children and young people as possible, the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation collaborates closely with kindergartens and schools, and complements its work with concerts, workshops and special projects in the Mozart Museums. Strict repetition of difficult studies in the pursuit of perfection is not half as much fun as making music together. This is the aim of the newly founded Mozart Children’s Orchestra, which successfully debuted at the 2013 Mozart Week. In this ensemble, organized in collaboration with schools of music in the Town and the Province of Salzburg and neighboring Bavaria, young people aged 7-12 can experience the wonderful feeling of coming together as an orchestra. They can show that they are perfectly capable of fulfilling the technical and musical demands of works by Mozart and other composers, and of conveying their enthusiasm to audiences. The Mozart Children’s Orchestra is intended as a motivation for young musicians. We are convinced that Mozart’s music is particularly suitable as the center of such a project, and we hope the orchestra will provide a strong incentive and an exemplary contribution to early musical training.
Mozart’s violin, for which he wrote his violin concertos, dates from the early 18th century. Made from pine and maple in Mittenwald, Bavaria, according to the pattern used by Jakob Stainer, it has been preserved in practically original condition. It has the bright, silvery tone favored in Mozart’s time. After Mozart moved to Vienna in 1781, the instrument remained in the family’s possession and, by way of his sister Nannerl and various intermediate owners, came to the Mozarteum Foundation of Salzburg in 1955. Apart from his concert piano, the only other instrument listed in Mozart’s estate is a viola, acquired by the Mozarteum Foundation in 1966. It is assumed to be the viola on which Mozart played his string quartets and quintets in a private setting, with Viennese colleagues such as Joseph Haydn. The instrument, made some 300 years ago by an Italian master, was originally larger, and in the 19th century it was modified to modern dimensions, so the tone was probably fuller in Mozart’s time than it is today.
SUPPORT/ MEMBER BENEFITS
To learn how you can be part of the Mozarteum Foundation’s future, and to insure that the legacy of Mozart as preserved by the Mozarteum remains vibrant for generations to come, become a member! For complete membership information, including special benefits reserved for Members of the Mozarteum Foundation, click here.