250 years ago the Mozart family embarked in front of their house in the Getreidegasse Salzburg for the “Great European Western Journey.” ...

Salzburg Celebrates the 250th Anniversary of Mozart's Grand Journey

250 years ago the Mozart family embarked in front of their house in the Getreidegasse Salzburg for the “Great European Western Journey.” © LMZ/Neumayer. A special thank you to Gerhard Spitz and European Mozart Ways for providing this photo.
On June 9, 1763, the Mozart family took an ambitious leap in the dark. Leopold and Anna Maria sacrificed everything when they left Salzburg with the family's hopes and dreams resting on the shoulders of their musically gifted children. Maria Anna was 11 years old and her younger brother Wolfgang was only 7 years of age. As their coach departed Getreidegasse, they could not have anticipated the dichotomy of fame and famine that would endure for the next three and a half years. Such a feat had never before been attempted, nor has it been repeated. The Mozarts were more than just musical innovators!

Although the journey often seemed to bring about greater hardships and fewer rewards, especially to managerial Leopold, the concert tour's role in the development of Wolfgang's artistry is indisputable. Everything about this family's journey is extraordinary, especially the circumstances of its genesis, and today, the 250th anniversary of the family's departure was celebrated in Salzburg.

Mr. Gerhard Spitz, Secretary General of European Mozart Ways, kindly accepted my invitation to answer a few questions about the anniversary launch event in Salzburg today and the celebratory campaign along related cultural routes. Founded in Salzburg in 2002, the mission of his organization is "to promote a new approach to the discovery of Mozart through the theme of his travels, by proposing touristic itineraries and encouraging artistic, cultural, educational and academic activities with particular regard to his life and works." As admirers of Mozart, we are all very grateful for your generosity and professionalism. Thank you, Gerhard!

With Gratitude,
Sherry

/ Sherry /
This is indeed an exciting day not only for your city and organization, but for all admirers of Mozart. Can you please tell us more about the events today and what we can expect from this campaign as it moves forward from Salzburg?

/ Gerhard / 
The jubilee of "250 Years of Child Prodigy Journey" is the special occasion for the cooperation project of the German Mozart Society and the European Mozart Ways Association to remind together with the German Cities visited at that time, from Wasserburg to Aachen, on the experiences of the Mozart family. Numerous events as concerts, exhibitions, lectures, guided tours and plays organized by 44 partners remember of stays in 18 German Cities, which are documented by the letters of Leopold. Accordingly the events take place in the time window of the historic itinerary and at authentic places. As Leopold as a mentor and teacher tried to encourage the young Wolfgang by his journey, many children and up-coming artists will find their podium. In a lecture, organized by the Mozarteum Foundation, Dr. Ulrich Leisinger with Marie Sophie Decker Hauzel / 12 years (Mozart's fortepiano) demonstrated the rapid movement of the young Wolfgang as pianist and composer in a musical event based on pieces from the so-called "Nannerl" notebook and other Salzburg piano books and thus the artistic status at the beginning of the great journey. 

An interactive map on the European Mozart Ways website traces the Mozart family's journey. www.mozartways.com

/ Sherry /
Just as it was the beginning of a new adventure for the Mozart family 250 years ago, today marks the beginning of a new adventure for European Mozart Ways and its affiliates. What are the most challenging aspects of planning across such a broad network of 10 countries?

/ Gerhard /
The most challenging aspect of planning and running this network is/was to generate new and keep the interest in the project after the Mozart Year 2006. Therefore we developed EU projects in the frame of Culture Program 2007 - 2013 as "Mozart and Italy" (2009 - 2011) or "Family Music" (2011 - 2013) - short information about these projects are on our web portal www.mozartways.com on the starting page. One of the results of "Mozart and Italy" is the database "In Mozart's Words" http://letters.mozartways.com/index.php?lang=eng and in case of "Family and Music" the new web portal concerning communicating music www.communicating-music.eu.

/ Sherry / 
Where can we find more information and a schedule of events? How can Mozart admirers who are unable to attend events in Europe follow along the journey from afar?

/ Gerhard /
The total Program is online on the web portal of the German Mozart Society at: http://www.mozartgesellschaft.de/files/dmg/dateiverwaltung/pdf/Veranstaltungen/DMG_Westeuropareise_Ansicht.pdf  The European Mozart Ways will try to post on Facebook the events accordingly to dates and venues.

Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Child Prodigy's Journey. Photo: European Mozart Ways.

/ Sherry /
Will there be another event in Salzburg to commemorate the conclusion of the journey?

/ Gerhard / 
 2016 is not fixed yet.

/ Sherry /
As a native of Salzburg, I can imagine that you have a tremendous sense of pride in your work. What does it mean for you to work for European Mozart Ways and to play such a significant role in the preservation of Mozart's history?

/ Gerhard /
With the project of the European Mozart Ways it is a real work for the common European heritage and not only for Mozart or Salzburg. The important aspect is to show Mozart as a European figure and maybe the first European traveling musician.

/ Sherry /
I've learned a great deal from your responses and sincerely appreciate you taking the time to address them for my platform and readers. Is there anything else you'd like to add for our fellow Mozartians?

/ Gerhard /
Inez Reichl de Hoogh and Cornelia Thöni designed a special guided tour on the occasion of the child prodigy journey, offered all year around. Under the title "Made in Salzburg - In the Footsteps of Mozart's Childhood and Youth" Mozart's early years in Salzburg can be discovered within the framework of exciting tours. The German Mozart Society publishes a detailed program magazine which will be available at the respective venues and provides information about the historical stay as well as the individual program. Mid of the year a separate travel guide on the German part of the journey will be edited as a cooperation of the Publisher Grebennikov / Berlin and the European Mozart Ways.

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