A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Leopold Mozart

Birth icon
November 14, 1719: Johann Georg Leopold Mozart is born at Frauentorstraße 30 in Augsburg, a free city of the Holy Roman Empire, the son of Johann Georg Mozart, a bookbinder, and Maria Anna Sulzer.
Event icon
April 10, 1755: Leopold Mozart (35) writes the first of at least 30 letters to his publisher Johann Jakob Lotter in Augsburg in preparation for the edition of his Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule next year.
Birth icon
January 27, 1756: 20:00 Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart is born at Getreidegasse 9 in the Archbishopric of Salzburg, the seventh and last child of Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (36), violinist and composer to the Archbishop of Salzburg, and Maria Anna Pertl, daughter of the deputy prefect of St. Gilgen (now deceased). Only two of the children survive infancy.
Event icon
July 26, 1756: Leopold Mozart (36) dates the preface to his Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule published this year by Johann Jakob Lotter in Augsburg.
Event icon
November 13, 1756: Leopold Mozart is appointed violin teacher at the Kapellhaus, Salzburg on the eve of his 37th birthday.
Event icon
January 24, 1761: Leopold Mozart (41) inscribes on a copy of a scherzo by Georg Christoph Wagenseil (45) that his son Wolfgang learned to play this music three days before his fifth birthday.
Event icon
February 28, 1763: As part of the celebration of the birthday of the Archbishop of Salzburg, Leopold Mozart (43) is promoted to the rank of Vice-Kapellmeister. Wolfgang (7) and Nannerl (10) perform this evening.
Event icon
July 19, 1763: Leopold Mozart (43) writes from Schwetzingen, “The orchestra is undeniably the best in Germany. It consists altogether of people who are young and of good character, not drunkards, gamblers or dissolute fellows.” (Keefe, 20)
Event icon
July 8, 1764: Leopold Mozart (44) contracts a serious illness in London, a “kind of native complaint, which is called a cold.” It will get much worse.
Event icon
August 5, 1764: Leopold Mozart (44) is taken from London to Chelsea where a house has been rented in the country so he can recuperate from a serious throat condition. He will fully recover.
Event icon
September 25, 1764: After Leopold Mozart’s (44) recovery in Chelsea, the Mozart family returns to London.
Event icon
March 18, 1768: The paymaster for the Archbishop of Salzburg orders that if Leopold Mozart (48) does not report to the office by April he shall receive no more salary.
Event icon
April 1, 1768: Due to his prolonged absence from Salzburg, Archbishop Siegmund III Christoph ends Leopold Mozart’s (48) salary but not his position.
Event icon
September 21, 1768: In the course of an audience with Emperor Joseph II, Leopold Mozart (48) requests that the Emperor order the production of Wolfgang’s (12) La finta semplice in Vienna. The Emperor is either unwilling or unable to do this.
Performance icon
October 17, 1771: Ascanio in Alba K.111, a festa teatrale by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (15) to words of Parini, is performed for the first time, in the Teatro Regio Ducale, Milan, to celebrate the wedding of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and Maria Ricciarda Berenice of Modena. Leopold Mozart (51) reports that it is “an extraordinary success” overshadowing the work by Hasse (72) performed last night.
Event icon
December 28, 1771: Two weeks after the death of Archbishop Schrattenbach, Leopold Mozart (52) petitions the Cathedral Chapter for the reinstatement of his salary.
Event icon
February 7, 1772: Leopold Mozart (52) writes from Salzburg to the Breitkopfs in Leipzig, offering Wolfgang’s (16) compositions to them for publication.
Event icon
October 6, 1775: Leopold Mozart (55) writes to Breitkopf in Leipzig offering any of Wolfgang’s (19) compositions for publishing. Breitkopf will politely decline.
Event icon
September 4, 1776: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (20) sends his Misericordias Domini K.222 to Giovanni Battista Martini (70) in Bologna, following instructions to keep him informed of his progress in composition. The accompanying letter is written by Leopold Mozart (56).
Event icon
March 14, 1777: Leopold Mozart (57) petitions Archbishop Colloredo for leave to travel with his son. The Archbishop will refuse.
Event icon
December 29, 1777: Leopold Mozart (63) writes to his son Wolfgang (21) that Michael Haydn (40) has been appointed organist in Salzburg. “Everyone is laughing. He will be an expensive organist; after each litany he swills a quart of wine.”
Event icon
July 13, 1778: Abbé Bullinger informs Leopold Mozart (58) that his wife has died in Paris.
Event icon
August 31, 1778: Leopold Mozart (58) writes to his son (22) in Paris informing him that the post of court organist in Salzburg is open.
Event icon
January 26, 1781: Leopold Mozart (61) and his daughter Nannerl arrive in Munich for the premiere of Idomeneo.
Performance icon
January 29, 1781: Idomeneo, rè di Creta K.366, a dramma per musica by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (25) to words of Varesco after Danchet, is performed for the first time, at the Residenz, Munich. It is very successful. Leopold Mozart (61) and Nannerl are in attendance.
Event icon
August 5, 1782: Leopold Mozart’s (62) consent for his son to marry arrives in Vienna.
Event icon
January 28, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) leaves Salzburg to join his son in Vienna.
Event icon
February 7, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) departs Munich with his pupil, Heinrich Marchand, heading for Vienna.
Event icon
February 11, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) arrives in Vienna to visit his son and daughter-in-law.
Performance icon
February 12, 1785: At a party in Vienna given by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (29) in honor of Franz Joseph Haydn (52), three of the six string quartets dedicated to Haydn are performed, possibly for the first time. Haydn informs Leopold Mozart (65) that “I tell you before God and as an honest man, that your son is the greatest composer I know, either personally or by reputation. He has taste and apart from that, the greatest knowledge of composition.” See 15 January 1785.
Performance icon
February 13, 1785: Piano Concerto no.18 K.456 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (29) is performed for the first time, in Vienna, the composer at the keyboard, before Emperor Joseph II and Leopold Mozart (65).
Event icon
February 17, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) dines at the Vienna home of Caecilia Weber, Constanze’s mother, who he meets for the first time. Also present are Wolfgang (29) and Constanze and two others.
Event icon
April 6, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) is initiated into the Freemasons at the Lodge “Zur wahren Eintracht” in Vienna.
Performance icon
April 16, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) achieves the Journeyman Degree of Freemasonry at the Lodge “Zur wahren Eintracht” in Vienna. It is possible that the Lied zur Gesellenreise “Die ihr einem neuen Grade” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (29) is premiered on this occasion.
Event icon
April 22, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) becomes a Master Mason in Vienna.
Event icon
May 15, 1785: Leopold Mozart (65) arrives in Salzburg from Vienna.
Event icon
April 28, 1786: Leopold Mozart (66) writes to his daughter Nannerl from Salzburg, “ Le nozze di Figaro is being performed on the 28th (sic) for the first time. It will be surprising if it is a success, for I know that very powerful cabals have ranged themselves against your brother. Salieri (35) and all his supporters will again try to move heaven and earth to down his opera. Herr & Mme Duschek told me recently that it is on account of the very great reputation which your brother’s exceptional talent and ability have won for him that so many people are plotting against him.” (Anderson, 897)
Event icon
October 18, 1786: Leopold Mozart's (66) blood is let in Salzburg. It is found to be unhealthy. More bloodletting is prescribed as well as changes in diet.
Death icon
May 28, 1787: 06:00 Johann Georg Leopold Mozart dies in his home on the Hannibalplatz (Markatplatz 8-9) in the Archbishopric of Salzburg, aged 67 years, six months and 14 days. The cause of death is “congestion of the spleen” according to his doctor, and consumption according to an obituary. One modern diagnosis is myocardial infarction. Although he has been ill, the death is unexpected. The Abbot of St. Peter’s Monastery records, “The father who died today was a man of much wit and intelligence and would have been capable of performing good service to the state even apart from music. He was the most correct violinist of his day, of which he twice-published Violinschule gives proof.”
Event icon
May 29, 1787: The mortal remains of Leopold Mozart are laid to rest the churchyard of St. Sebastian in Salzburg.
Event icon
May 31, 1787: A service in memory of Leopold Mozart is held in the church of St. Sebastian, Salzburg. His mortal remains are laid to rest in the cemetery there.
Performance icon
February 12, 1998: Zwei Räthsel von W.A.M. for soprano, alto, viola, cello, percussion, tape, and live electronics by Olga Neuwirth (29), to words of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (†206) and Leopold Mozart (†210), is performed for the first time, in Venice.
Performance icon
February 11, 1999: Zwei Räthsel von W.A.M. for soprano, alto, viola, cello, six cymbals and electronics, by Olga Neuwirth (30), to words of WA Mozart (†207) and Leopold Mozart (†211), is performed for the first time, in Teatro Fondamenta Nuove, Venice.