Mozart's Birthplace

Mozart's Birthplace

Getreidegasse 9
A-5020 Salzburg
Get directions

Tel.: +43-662-84 43 13
Fax: +43-662-84 06 93

Opening hours

Daily: 9 am – 5.30 pm
July / Augst: until 8.30 am – 7.00 pm
(last entry 6.30 pm)

Mozart Residence

Mozart Residence

Makartplatz 8
A-5020 Salzburg
Get directions

Tel.: +43-662-874227-40
Fax: +43-662-87 42 27 83

Opening hours

Daily: 9 am – 5.30 pm
July / Augst: until 8 pm
(last entry 7.30 pm)

Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation

Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation

Schwarzstr. 26, A-5020 Salzburg
Get directions

Great Hall & Viennese Hall

Mag. Reinhard Haring
Rentals, Disposition
Tel. +43 (0) 662 889 40 22

Bibliotheca Mozartiana

Dr. Armin Brinzing
Bibliotheca Mozartiana (Director)
Tel: +43 (0) 662 889 40 13
Fax: +43 (0) 662 889 40 50

Latest News

14.12. 2010
"Myth and reverence" - Exhibition opening in Mozart's Birthplace

Mozart: "Myth and reverence"

Room 1


“... the best place in the world"

In 1781, after the final break with his employer, Prince-Archbishop Graf Colleredo, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart settled in Vienna. He spent the last ten years of his life in the imperial and royal capital and residence city.

Mozart’s years in Vienna coincided almost exactly with the reign of Joseph II (born

in 1741, reigned from 1780 to 1790). Under the rule of the enlightened emperor Vienna increasingly became a modern, cosmopolitan city with 200,000 inhabitants.  The rise in the population was due on the one hand to the growing significance of the court as a power centre, and on the other to the development of Vienna as a centre of trade and business. It resulted in a veritable boom in building activity.

Cultural life was also characterised by a pioneering spirit and this probably contributed to Mozart’s decision to make Vienna his permanent place of residence.  In Vienna there was a great variety of possibilities for musical development, something that the city of his birth could not offer him. Patrons who would commission works from him, especially operas, were also lacking. He hoped to find them in Vienna.

Furthermore, the situation at the archiepiscopal court became increasingly intolerable for Mozart. He felt that he had limited freedom and was treated by Archbishop Colloredo like an ordinary lackey, and he felt too that his music did not receive due recognition. Salzburg became more and more constrictive for Mozart.

Ultimately the legendary “kick in the backside”, provoked by Mozart, led to the termination of this employment relationship which he so detested.


Room 2


Life in Vienna

“I can assure you that this is a marvellous place, and for my profession the best place in the world”, wrote Mozart in April 1781 to his father in Salzburg.

Mozart had achieved what he had always wanted. Freed from the constraints of the city of his birth, he was finally able to lead the life of an independent composer.


Vienna offered Mozart many opportunities. The aristocracy and the increasingly prosperous middle-class spent a lot of money on entertainment. People made music themselves or went to concerts and to the opera. There was a high demand for the latest compositions.

Vienna was considered to be one of the most important musical cities in Europe.  Major composers such as Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787), Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) and Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) dominated the scene.

Soon Mozart also played an important role. The piano was enormously popular in Vienna and he quickly established himself as an outstanding pianist.  Mozart’s activities as a composer and concert artist were extremely successful. His works were performed everywhere. He was also highly celebrated as an opera composer. In addition he gave piano lessons and taught composition.

Mozart fostered friendly contacts with the nobility and middle class, and moved comfortably in all circles. He found patrons and clients everywhere. The most important personalities from all social classes revered him.

In 1784 Mozart was accepted in a lodge of the Freemasons. Almost all intellectual persons in Vienna belonged to the circles of the Freemasons.

On the one hand their ideals corresponded to his own attitudes, and on the other, professional and social reasons probably played a role in him becoming a member.

Whereas the first years in Vienna were extremely successful, towards the end of the 1780s the situation deteriorated. Mozart had apparently gone out of fashion.

The period of crisis during the last years of Joseph II’s reign also had an impact on the cultural life of the city. 

The financial situation became increasingly difficult and Mozart’s main concern was to secure his means of making a living. His aim to hold a position as kapellmeister with a regular salary at the imperial court was only partially fulfilled. In 1787 Joseph II appointed him as imperial and royal chamber musician.

In 1788 Antonio Salieri was appointed to the influential position of court conductor.

Mozart found happiness in his private life with his wife Constanze. Initially his father Leopold did not approve of this bond. The relationship with him had in any case become difficult after Wolfgang left Salzburg. Mozart and his wife visited the city of his birth only once, in the summer of 1783. In the spring of 1785 Leopold Mozart stayed in Vienna for several weeks. It was to be the last time that father and son saw each other.

Contrary to all the legends Mozart was certainly not poor; quite the opposite, he earned a lot of money. His income consisted of earnings from commissioned works, from opera performances, concert revenues, publishing fees, money for giving music lessons, and his salary as imperial and court chamber composer.

Mozart had huge debts despite his considerable income. He was unable to deal with money. Furthermore, Vienna was expensive and his lifestyle very extravagant. Gambling debts may also have played a role.

From 1788 his financial situation became increasingly precarious and did not improve until 1791. In the last months of his life several commissioned works and opera performances again brought him high earnings.


Room 3



The Widow

Constanze was only 29 years old when Mozart died, leaving her behind with their two children and debts. She began to administrate her husband’s artistic legacy with great insight.  She promoted the performance of his works and went on a journey through Germany and Austria organising several concerts, in some of which she herself sang.

With the help of the Danish diplomat, Georg Nikolaus Nissen, Constanze proved to be an astute businesswoman
in negotiating with publishers about the publication of a complete edition of Mozart’s works. In 1799 she sold Mozart’s manuscripts from his legacy to the publishing house Johann Anton André in Offenbach am Main.

In 1809 she married Georg Nikolaus Nissen, and lived with him first in Copenhagen and from 1824 in Salzburg.

Using primary sources, in particular the family correspondence, Nissen compiled by far the most comprehensive early biography of Mozart, which was published by Constanze posthumously in 1828. She died in 1842, a few months before the unveiling of the Mozart statue in Salzburg.


The Sisters

After the death of her brother, Nannerl – as the sister of the deceased genius and last living member of the family – was much in demand for interviews with biographers and publishers. She was able to relate authentic stories about her brother’s childhood and youth, and to provide family letters and compositions by him. Nannerl also supported Nissen’s work on the Mozart biography.


The Sons

Franz Xaver Wolfgang, Mozart’s younger son, soon showed great musical talent.  As a result Constanze planned a musical career for him and called him “Wolfgang Amadeus”. He took lessons in Vienna from eminent teachers such as Antonio Salieri who said he had “a rare talent for music”. Franz Xaver’s first work, the Piano Quartet in G minor, appeared in print as early as 1802. As a seventeen-year-old he went to Lemberg (now Lviv in the Ukraine) as a private teacher and lived there for most of the time until 1838.

From 1819 to 1821 he travelled through Europe as a freelance musician and was highly celebrated as a piano virtuoso and composer. He spent the last years of his life in Vienna. He died in 1844 in Carlsbad.

Despite his success, Franz Xaver Mozart, known as “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, son”, was never able to emerge from the shadow of his famous father.

At the age of fourteen Carl Thomas went to work in a trading house in Livorno.  In 1806 he gave up the profession of a commercial employee and studied music for three years in Milan.  He decided against a career as an artist and became a civil servant.  Throughout his life Carl Thomas showed great interest in the musical and literary life of Milan.

Both sons took an active part in fostering their father’s legacy and were present at the unveiling of the Mozart statue in 1842 in Salzburg.

Franz Xaver and Carl Thomas Mozart donated the music manuscripts, the family correspondence as well as family portraits and their father’s original keyboard instruments still in their possession to the Cathedral Music Association and Mozarteum, founded in 1841, which later became the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation.



Room 4



Mozart Reverence

Shortly after Mozart’s death Joseph Haydn expressed his admiration for his friend and younger colleague by making the legendary statement, “In one hundred years posterity will never again see such talent.”  The first biographies were published, Mozart’s works were played and published; members of the family who were still alive were visited by Mozart admirers.

However, the real Mozart cult began in the 19th century, the Romantic era. Mozart’s allegedly tragic life corresponded to the romantic image of the unappreciated genius who had to die at such an early age. There was an abundance of legends about his person.

The general reverence for Mozart began in Salzburg with the erection of the statue in 1842.  The unveiling ceremony was a great success. Mozart’s two sons were present at this first “Mozart Festival”. Other music festivals followed, and their internationality spread Salzburg’s reputation as a “Mozart City” throughout the world.


In 1877 the Magic Flute Summer-House became the first place of pilgrimage for Mozart admirers. In 1880 the museum in Mozart’s Birthplace became a further memorial site in Salzburg.

The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation was set up in 1880 to foster Mozart’s heritage. The work of the foundation is divided into three areas – organising concerts, maintaining the Mozart museums, and carrying out academic research – and is still nowadays concerned with the contemporary study and analysis of Mozart’s œuvre and person. The Mozarteum Foundation is located in the Mozarteum building constructed from 1910 to 1914 in the Schwarzstrasse.


 Room 5


Mozart online


Fantasy and Sonata C Minor KV 475 & 457

The present interactive CD-ROM released by the International Mozart Foundation aims at introducing the source and the work with an entirely new technical and educational approach.

The digital reproduction of Mozart’s manuscript can be browsed and studied in great detail.

The composition is recorded on Mozart’s original instrument.

The interactive CD-ROM Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Fantasy and Sonata in C Minor KV 475 & 457 offers four different modes to explore the work.

1. Browsing
The current order of the manuscript’s pages can be browsed digitally to gain a first impression of its actual material condition.

2. View musical texts

A zoom-in function allows the user to study every important detail thoroughly.

3. Interactive playback
For the CD-ROM, the Fantasy and Sonata were completely recorded for the very first time on Mozart’s own instrument.

4. Information on composition and instrument
In this mode, the user is presented in a generally understandable language with more detailed information which is usually exclusively available in scientific publications.



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