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Scene and Heard: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Scene and Heard: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ed Note: We’ve been spending the last six months talking about artists, dancers, writers, and musicians realizing that while we know Forsythe and Flaubert and Fille du Regiment and Frida like the back of our hand, we are, in fact, NOT the world (wide web).   So each weekend we’ll plug a new artist (in the general sense) and let you know where you can find them (in the specific sense) and why you should care.  Cool?  Cool.

Who He Is: Mozart is by far one of the most famous composers in the history of music.  Starting off as a young prodigy (he wrote his first composition by age five…screw The Wiggles) and continuing into a musical master in his adult years (which were cut off at the tender age of 35 due to reasons still unknown today but attributed to rheumatic fever).  He wrote over 600 musical works including 41* symphonies, 22 operas, and between 44 and 70 concertos.

Where You’ve Heard Him: Easy Answer: Everywhere.  From Alien to When Harry Met Sally, not to mention countless cartoons, commercials, and subway stations around the world.  Even that familiar tune we sang as kids–”Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (or, if you prefer, the Alphabet Song) was a composition from Wolfie.  He was also the subject of the 1984 Milos Forman film, Amadeus (and the Peter Shaffer play of the same title).

Where You Can Catch Him: Easy Answer: Everywhere.  Born in Salzburg, Mozart lived in Vienna but considered Prague his second home, so those three cities will always have some concert or opera going on in a church or larger hall.  London runs the Mostly Mozart Festival every summer at the Barbican, and also hosts the Classical Opera Company (which as we’ve said before is dedicated to the work of Mozart and his contemporaries).  He’s also a mainstay in opera and concert houses from Paris to Berlin to Amsterdam to Milan to Moscow.

Don’t Miss: The Classical Opera Company, naturally.  Any production of Cosi fan Tutte, one of his operatic masterpieces (which you’ll recognize if you’ve seen the 2004 flick Closer).  His five violin concerti, some of the most exciting pieces for orchestra.  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, a classic that is amazing when heard in person.  The Latvia-based Kremerata Baltica, an orchestral ensemble that does Mozart proud.  Anything at the Barbican in London or the Salzburg Festival.

Cosi fan Tutte in production.

2079167820_386f9bef45Thanks, susannaphillipsopera!

*If you want to get technical, it’s been suggested he wrote 68 symphonies however that number has been, and probably always will be, under debate.


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