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 Leopold Mozart

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Leopold Mozart

  • Birth 14 Nov 1719 Augsburg, Augsburger Stadtkreis, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
  • Death 28 May 1787 Salzburg, Salzburg Stadt, Salzburg, Austria
  • Burial Salzburg, Salzburg Stadt, Salzburg, Austria
  • Plot Enter cemetery through entrance on Linzergasse. Walk towards the mausoleum in the center. Grave is third headstone on your left.
  • Memorial ID 3017

Composer, Conductor, and Musician. He is best remembered as the father and teacher of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as his noted violin textbook "Versuch einer grundlichen Violinschule." The son of a bookbinder, he attended the local Jesuit school, Saint Salvator Gymnasium and became a skilled violinist and organist. After graduating in 1735, he attended a more advanced school, the St. Salvator Lyceum but withdrew after less than a year. In November 1737 he moved to Salzburg, Austria to resume his education at the Benedictine University to study philosophy and law, and received a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree in 1738. Two years later he began his career as a professional musician, becoming violinist and valet to one of the university's canons, Johann Baptist, Count of Thurn-Valsassina and Taxis. The same year, he composed his first musical publication, the six Trio Sonatas, Opus, entitled "Sonate sei da chiesa e da camera," followed by a series of German Passion cantatas. In 1743 he was appointed as 4th violinist to Count Leopold Anton von Firmian, the ruling Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. His duties included composition and the teaching of violin and piano to the choirboys of the Salzburg cathedral. In 1755 he wrote his "Versuch einer grundlichen Violinschule," a comprehensive treatise on violin playing that was published the following year, and continues to serve as a source for 18th century performance practice. In 1758 he was promoted to second violinist and in 1763 to deputy Kapellmeister. He rose no further, and others were repeatedly promoted over him to the head position of Kapellmeister. Around 1759 he discovered that his two children were musically gifted, when he began with keyboard lessons for his seven-year-old daughter Maria Anna (called Nannerl). His young son Wolfgang immediately began imitating his sister, at first picking out thirds on the keyboard and then making rapid progress under Leopold's instruction. By 1762 his children were ready to work as concert performers, and he started taking the family on extensive concert tours, performing for both aristocracy and public, throughout central and western Europe and England. The touring continued into the early 1770s and the last three trips were to Italy, with only Leopold accompanying Wolfgang. His failure to advance above his Vice-Kapellmeister position at Salzburg was attributed to the inordinate amount of time that the journeys kept him away from Salzburg (the longest journey was about three and a half years). After the final return from Italy in 1773, he was repeatedly passed over for the Kapellmeister post. In 1781 Wolfgang left home to pursue his musical career in Vienna and he resided with Nannerl in Salzburg until she married in 1784 and moved to St. Gilgen, Austria. His relationship with Wolfgang was often quarrelsome and they frequently were estranged from each other as he did not always approve of his son's decisions, especially his marriage to Constanze Weber in 1782. In early 1787 his health began to fail and he died soon afterwards at the age of 67.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 3 Jun 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3017
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Leopold Mozart (14 Nov 1719–28 May 1787), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3017, citing Saint Sebastian's Cemetery, Salzburg, Salzburg Stadt, Salzburg, Austria ; Maintained by Find A Grave .