Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, and is a legend in the music world!
He started composing at age 5 and touring at 8. When he turned 13, he received sensational press reviews stating he was a "miracle in music, one of those freaks that nature causes to be born." In his 35 years, this virtuoso violinist and keyboardist composed 800 pieces (though this number varies by different sources).
I was exposed to the Der Spiegel (The Mirror) Duet as a teenager. This sheet music is designed to be played on a tabletop and demonstrates his unrivaled conception of the musical staff by being able to conceive of it simultaneously right-side up and upside-down. You can access a free PDF here.
Later, as a teenager, I visited Europe with my mother and indulged in "Mozartkugel" or Mozart balls - a chocolate candy melodically combining pistachio marzipan and hazelnut nougat with a picture of Mozart on the wrapper. In college, I became dismissive of W A. Mozart's music - I thought it sounded too fluffy and predictable. It was not until I read his biography about his upbringing that I understood how difficult his life was and that music was a way to transcend his challenges.
When I started teaching, a colleague turned me onto the violin duets his father, Leopold Mozart, composed, and they have been some of my favorites ever since. They are available on Amazon in case you are interested.
Modern AI can even help us see what he looked like. A channel on YouTube recently did a facial reconstruction of what Mozart looked like in his day and what he would likely appear as in modern times, along with a concise biography of his life: Mozart: The Funny, Rebellious Prodigy. History Documentary, Including Facial Re-creations.
So let's talk about Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. This simple tune has permeated my musical experience, and I have taught it to students for decades and have a fondness for arranging it (here are all my collections). But I got it wrong - it was not likely composed by W.A. Mozart.
One of my favorite M4YV blog posts ever was by guest author Murray Charters (B. Mus., M.A.) Cellist and Teacher from Kitchener, Ontario, who educated me on the origins of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I had gone decades of my musical life assuming this tune from W.A. Mozart until I read this. Click on the button above to learn more.
Hi! It's me, Heather. I absolutely love working on the Music for Young Violinists project and all the many facets: blogging, website, music, teaching materials, freebies, videos, newsletter and giveaway contests. The best part is connecting with you so feel free to drop me a line. You can learn more about me on the "ABOUT" page. Thanks!