Mozart, (Johann Georg) Leopold

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Mozart, (Johann Georg) Leopold

Mozart, (Johann Georg) Leopold, Germanborn Austrian composer, violinist, and music theorist, father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Maria Anna Mozart; b. Augsburg, Nov. 14, 1719; d. Salzburg, May 28, 1787. A bookbinder’s son, he studied at the Augsburg Gymnasium (1727–35), then continued his studies at the Lyceum attached to the Jesuit school of St. Salvator (1735–36). In 1737 he went to Sal0burg, where he studied philosophy and law at the Benedictine Univ.; he received his bachelor of philosophy degree in 1738. Subsequently he entered the service of Johann Baptist, Count of Thurn-Valsassina and Taxis, the Salzburg canon and president of the consistory, as both valet and musician. In 1743 he became fourth violinist in the Prince-Archbishop’s Court Orch.; also taught violin and keyboard to the choirboys of the Cathedral oratory. In 1757 he became composer to the court and chamber, and in 1758 he was promoted to second violinist in the Court Orch.; in 1762 he was appointed Vice-Kapellmeister. He married Anna Maria Pertl of Salzburg on Nov. 21,1747; of their 7 children, only Maria Anna and Wolfgang survived infancy. He dedicated himself to the musical education of his children, but his methods of presentation of their concerts at times approached frank exploitation, and his advertisements of their appearances were in poor taste. However, there is no denying his great role in fostering his son’s career. Leopold was a thoroughly competent composer; the mutual influence between father and son was such that works long attributed to his son proved to be his. He was also important as a music theorist. He produced an influential violin method in his Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule (Augsburg, 1756; 2nd ed., rev., 1769–70; 3rd ed., enl, 1787; facsimile of 1756 ed., Vienna, 1922; also various trs., including one in Eng., London, 1939; 2nded., 1951). His Nannerl-Notenbuch is a model of a child’s music album; it was publ, in 1759; ed. in part by E. Valentin (Munich, 1956; 2nd ed., 1969). M. Seiffert ed. Leopold Mozart: Ausgewählte Werke in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Bayern, XVII, Jg. IX/2 (Leipzig, 1908). His vocal works include sacred cantatas, masses, litanies, school dramas, and secular lieder. He also composed syms., the famous Kindersinfonie, long attributed to Haydn, was in all probability a work by Leopold. On this, see E.E Schmid, “Leopold Mozart und die Kindersinfonie,” Mozart Jahrbuch 1951, and R. Münster, “Wer ist der Komponist der ’Kindersinfonie?” Acta Mozartiana, XVI (1969). Other orch. works include several concertos, among them Die musikalische Schlittenfahrt (1755), dances, etc. He also composed chamber music and works for the keyboard. In 1992 the Internationale Leopold Mozart Gesellschaft was founded in Augsburg.


correspondence and notebooks: A. Schurig, L. M.s Reiseaufzeichnungen, 1763–1771 (facsimile ed.; Dresden, 1920); O.E. Deutsch and B. Paumgartner, L. M.s Briefe an seine Tochter (Salzburg and Leipzig, 1936); E. Anderson, ed. and tr., Letters of M. and His Family (3 vols., London and N.Y., 1938; 2nd ed., rev. by A. Hyatt King and M. Carolan, 1966; 3rded., rev. by S. Sadie and F. Smart, 1985); A. Kozár, Wolfgang Amadeus M. (1756–1791) im Spiegel der Briefe seines Vaters L. M.: Ein Beitrag zur Kulturgeschichte des 18. Jahrhunderts (diss., Univ. of Graz, 1955); W. Bauer, O.E. Deutsch, and J. Eibl, eds., M.: Briefe und Aufzeichnungen (contains letters, notebooks, etc., relating to Leopold; 7 vols., Kassel, 1962–75). biographical, critical, analytical, etc.: E. Theiss, Die Instrumentalwerke L. M.s nebst einer Biographie (diss., Univ. of Giessen, 1942); J. Kay, Mein Sohn Wolfgang Amadeus: Glück und Tragik des Vaters L. M.(Vienna, 1965); W. Lievense, Defamilie M. in Nederland: Een reisverslag (Hilversum, 1965); L. Staehelin, Die Reise der Familie M. durch die Schweiz (Bern, 1968); L. Wegele, ed., L. M., 1719–1787: Bild einer Persönlichkeit (Augsburg, 1969); D. Carlson, The Sacred Vocal Works of L. M.(diss., Univ. of Mich., 1976); A. Layer, Eine Jugend in Augsburg—L. M. 1719–1787 (Augsburg, 1976); C. Eisen, The Symphonies of L.M. and Their Relationship to the Early Symphonies of Wolfgang Amadeus M.: A Bibliographical and Stylistic Study (diss., Cornell Univ., 1986); E. Schwerin, L. M.: Profile of a Personality (N.Y., 1987); J. Mancai and W. Plath, eds., Beiträge des internationalen L.-M.- Kolloquiums Augsburg 1994 (Augsburg, 1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire

Mozart, (Johann Georg) Leopold

views updated Jun 11 2018

Mozart, (Johann Georg) Leopold (b Augsburg, 1719; d Salzburg, 1787). Ger. composer and violinist. Educated in Augsburg 1727–35. Went to Salzburg Benedictine Univ. 1737. Played in orch. of Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg from 1743, becoming court composer and Vice-Kapellmeister 1762. Father of 2 prodigiously talented children, Wolfgang and Anna, to whose training and exploitation he devoted much time. Comp. many types of mus., incl. famous Toy Symphony (simplified and reduced version of a Cassation in G) and author of influential vn. method, 1756.

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