Leopold Mozart

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Leopold Mozart (Portrait of Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni )
Signature Leopold Mozart.PNG

Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (born November 14, 1719 in Augsburg ; † May 28, 1787 in Salzburg ) was a German composer at the time of the Pre- Classical and Viennese Classical periods . He is the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , who led the Viennese classicism in its heyday. For the longest time of his life he lived and worked with his family in the prince-archbishopric of Salzburg .


Leopold Mozart with his children Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Maria Anna , on the wall a portrait of their late wife Anna Maria . Painting by Johann Nepomuk della Croce , around 1780
Cover picture "Violin School" by Leopold Mozart Augsburg 1756
Commune Crypt St. Sebastian

Leopold Mozart was born in Augsburg in today's Mozarthaus as the son of the bookbinder Johann Georg Mozart (1679–1736) and his second wife Anna Maria Sulzer (1696–1766), and was baptized in St. Georg under the names Johann , Georg and Leopold . He attended the Jesuit College St. Salvator in Augsburg and studied philosophy in Salzburg from December 1737 , where he was awarded the degree of Baccalaureus in July 1738 . He did not finish the law degree , for which he then enrolled, as he was now more interested in music . The Augsburg patrician and later mayor Jakob Wilhelm Benedikt von Langenmantel was one of his childhood friends and fellow students. In 1740 Mozart first became violinist and valet for the imperial count and Salzburg canon Johann Baptist von Thurn und Taxis . In the following years he only slowly climbed the career ladder in the Salzburg court music. He never got beyond the position of vice bandmaster. In 1743 he was accepted into the Salzburg court orchestra as fourth violinist under Prince Archbishop Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian (r. 1727–1744). In 1743 his name appeared in the Christmas salt lists. From 1744 he was registered as a member of the court orchestra in the court calendar. In the same year he also instructed the Kapellhaus boys in the violin. From May 14, 1746, he received a monthly salary of initially 5, later 11 and 20 gulden. In 1747 he was appointed "Court and Cammer Composer".

On November 21, 1747, he married Anna Maria Pertl in Salzburg Cathedral , with whom he had seven children. Of the children, only two reached adulthood, both of whom became well-known musical child prodigies: Maria Anna (called the Nannerl ) and Wolfgang Amadé (called Wolferl as a child ), who became one of the most important classical composers.

In 1755 Leopold Mozart had to give up his citizenship in Augsburg . In 1756 he attempted a thorough violin school as the fruit of his educational activity . In 1758 he was promoted to second violinist in the court orchestra. With a decree of February 28, 1763 he was finally appointed Vice Kapellmeister with an annual salary of 400 guilders and an additional wine and bread allowance worth 96 guilders. With the beginning of his children's musical career, Leopold Mozart repeatedly sought long-term travel vacations, which Sigismund III. Count Schrattenbach (ruled 1753–1771) not only approved, but also financially supported from his private cash box funds. Under Hieronymus Graf Colloredo (r. 1772–1803) Leopold Mozart was then increasingly bound to the court. The repeated request for exemption for a trip to France led, with effect from September 1, 1777, to a complete dismissal from court service of father and son. For this reason, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart started the trip to France with his mother, who died in Paris. With a decree of September 26, 1777 and the addition “that he would behave calmly and peacefully with the Kapellmeister and other people employed by the court music”, Leopold Mozart was resumed. He remained in this position until his death on May 28, 1787.

After the death of Kapellmeister Giuseppe Lolli on August 11, 1778, he applied for a pay increase and from then on received an additional 100 guilders per year.

To posterity he is mainly present as a tireless supporter and educator and travel companion of his brilliant son, although he composed music that is still played today. In addition to church music and occasional compositions in which he liked to use "real sound effects" (bells, barking dogs, post horn, etc.), he wrote a considerable number of works of instrumental music: 48 symphonies , six divertimenti , five flute concerts (four of which are missing), a trumpet concerto and a trombone concerto (actually a serenade with different solo movements for trumpet and trombone), three piano sonatas , twelve violin duos, a divertimento for flute, violin and bass, etc. a. m.
In 1756, when his son Wolfgang was born, Leopold Mozart's attempt at a thorough violin school appeared in print. In the slightly revised third edition (1787) this successful work is finally called Thorough Violin School . It is still considered an essential source of knowledge about music making in the 18th century.

The relationship between father and son cooled noticeably around 1781/1782, when the son settled in Vienna and married a "Weberische"; in the later letters to “Nannerl” Wolfgang Amadé only appears without naming him as “your brother”. Leopold Mozart disapproved of his son's marriage to Constanze . During a visit to Vienna, he criticized that Wolfgang Amadé had become thinner, that there were clothes lying around in the apartment, that there was talk about Mozart's financial situation and much more.

" Stomach induration" is documented as the cause of death by Leopold, which can possibly be interpreted as stomach cancer . His grave is on the Sebastian Cemetery in Salzburg ; However, it is only a show grave that the Mozart enthusiast Johann Evangelist Engl (1835–1921) had built. In fact, in 1787 Leopold Mozart was buried in the commune vault of the Sebastian cemetery.

Leopold Mozart's name is next to that of his son on a list of the presence of the Freemason lodgeZur Wahr Eintracht ” in Vienna, which is preserved in the Austrian house, court and state archives .

See also

Works (selection)


  • Musical sleigh ride (LMV VIII: 8)
  • Sinfonia in D " The Peasant Wedding " (LMV VIII: 6)
  • Sinfonia di caccia in G major " Hunting Symphony " (LMV VII: G9)
  • Cassatio ( Children's Symphony ) in G major (LMV VIII: 7)
  • Flute Concerto in G major (LMV IX: 1)
  • Trumpet Concerto in D major (LMV IX: 13)
  • Missa solemnis in C
  • Missa brevis in C KV 115 (formerly attributed to WA Mozart )
  • Missa brevis in F KV 116 (formerly attributed to WA Mozart)
  • MIssa in A
  • Music book for Wolfgang (piano)

The work for orchestra and toys, known as the Children's Symphony, was initially attributed to Joseph or Michael Haydn and was then considered the work of Leopold Mozart for a long time. However, the Tyrolean Benedictine Father Edmund Angerer can now also be considered as a composer . Leopold Mozart's Missa brevis in C major ( KV 115) and the Missa brevis in F major (KV 116) were initially erroneously attributed to his son.


Audio sample


  • Immersed in eternity, Augsburg - the Bavarian city of Mozart. A film documentation by Bernhard Graf , BR , 2011. (Searching for traces of Leopold Mozart and his ancestors.)
  • Mozart - the real story. A film documentary by Bernhard Graf , Bayerischer Rundfunk , 2012. (Documentary play about Leopold Mozart, his famous son and his ancestors.)
  • Mozart's secrets . A film documentation by Bernhard Graf , BR , 2019 (Searching for traces of Leopold Mozart and his ancestors.)


  • Ernst-Ludwig Theiss: Leopold Mozart's instrumental works together with a biography . Gießen 1943, (Gießen, Univ., Diss., 1943), (excerpts in: Journal of the Historisches Verein für Schwaben, 62/63, 1960, ISSN  0342-3131 , pp. 397-468).
  • Florian Langegger: Mozart: father and son. A psychological examination . Atlantis-Musikbuch-Verlag, Zurich a. a. 1978, ISBN 3-7611-0397-0 .
  • Erich Valentin : Leopold Mozart, portrait of a personality. Paul List Verlag, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-471-79011-X .
  • Wolfgang Plath:  Mozart, Leopold. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-00199-0 , pp. 238-240 ( digitized version ).
  • Monika Reger: Mozart, family - Johann Georg Leopold. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 3, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-7001-3045-7 .
  • Walther Brauneis : At the grave of Leopold Mozart. Death and burial of Mozart's father in the mirror of the Berchtold zu Sonnenburg family chronicle . In: Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl, Thomas Hochradner (ed.): On your own terrain. Contributions to Salzburg's music history. Festschrift Gerhard Walterskirchen for his 65th birthday. Selke Verlag, Salzburg 2004, ISBN 3-901353-32-1 , pp. 401-416.
  • Martin Kluger : WA Mozart and Augsburg. Ancestors, hometown and first love. context Medien und Verlag, Augsburg 2007, ISBN = 978-3-939645-05-4.
  • Karsten Nottelmann: WA Mozart son. The musician and the father's legacy. (= Series of publications by the International Mozarteum Foundation , Volume 14) 2 volumes, Bärenreiter, Kassel 2009, ISBN 978-3-7618-2164-0 .
  • Cliff Eisen: Leopold Mozart catalog raisonné (LMV). Contributions to Leopold Mozart research, 4th Wißner Verlag, Augsburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-89639-757-7 .
  • Bernhard Graf : Mozart's forgotten ancestors. A family of artists from Augsburg and Swabia. Allitera Verlag, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-96233-132-0 .
  • Dieter Riesenberger: Leopold Mozart (1719–1787). With the assistance of Gisela Riesenberger, Donat Verlag, Bremen 2019, ISBN 978-3-943425-89-5 .

Web links

Commons : Leopold Mozart  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. Death register - STB3 | Salzburg-St. Andrae | Salzburg, rk. Diocese | Austria | Matricula Online. Retrieved November 1, 2017 .
  2. Salzburg University Library - Mozartiana: Leopold Mozart enrolled on December 7, 1737 Logic.
  3. Salzburg University Library - Mozartiana: Leopold Mozart becomes Baccalaureus.
  4. ^ Salzburg University Library - Mozartiana: Leopold Mozart is expelled.
  5. ^ AES , Salzburg cathedral parish, marriage book TRBVII 1740–1760. See: [1]
  6. The memorial plaque for this wedding in the parish church of Aigen is based on a fiction.
  7. Joannes Leopoldus Joachimus (* August 18, 1748; † February 2, 1749), Maria Anna Cordula (* June 18, 1749; † June 24, 1749), Maria Anna Nepomucena Walburgis (* May 13, 1750; † July 29 1750), Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart (* July 30, 1751 - October 29, 1829 in Salzburg), Joannes Carolus Amadeus (* November 4, 1752 - February 2, 1753), Maria Crescentia Francisca de Paula (* 9. May 1754; † June 27, 1754) and Joan̄es Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus (January 27, 1756; † December 5, 1791 in Vienna). In: AES, entries in the baptismal and death books of the Salzburg cathedral parish. See: data.matricula.info , accessed on March 14, 2017.
  8. Erich Valentin: Leopold Mozart, Portrait of a Personality. Paul List, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-471-79011-X , p. 37.
  9. Your Most Princely Grace! Most Revered of Salvation: Rom: Prince of the Empire! Most gracious country prince and sir! Your High Prince, Grace, lay me down at your feet, and since the Capellmeister has gone into eternity, and this lollipop was none other than the salary of the Vice Capellmeister, Your High Prince: Gracious, it is also known that I have been serving the High Archbishopric for 38 years, And since the year 1763 as Vice Capellmeister for 15 years I have performed most and almost all of the services without complaint and still do: as if I recommend myself, Your High Prince: Graces humble and die in deepest submission and most obedient Leopold Mozart manu propria ; International Mozarteum Foundation : Mozart Letters and Documents - Online Edition. Leopold Mozart to Prince Archbishop Hieronymus Graf von Colloredo in Salzburg, Salzburg, before August 27, 1778. See: [2] , accessed on January 22, 2018.
  10. Missa brevis in C Carus-Verlag