The Mozart Society of America (MSA) was founded on 8 November 1996 by thirty-four scholars who held its organizational meeting at a conference of the American Musicological Society in Baltimore. Its first officers included Isabelle Emerson (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), President; Jane Stevens (University of California, San Diego), Vice-President; Edmund Goehring (University of Western Ontario), Secretary; and Daniel Leeson (Los Altos), Treasurer. The Society’s first Newsletter was published on Mozart’s birthday, 27 January, in 1997; its first guest columnist, Daniel Heartz, wrote, “I have lived to see an age in which the music of Mozart is no less loved and honored than that of Beethoven. The founding of a Mozart Society of America testifies to the seriousness of purpose with which we now take our favorite composer.”
The primary object of the Mozart Society of America is to encourage and advance studies and research into the life, works, historical context, and reception of Wolfgang Amadè Mozart, as well as to study and enjoy the performance of his music and that of related composers. Major goals of the Society include: to provide a forum for communication among scholars and enthusiasts and to encourage new ideas and perspectives on Mozart and his time; to share news of local, regional, and national events – symposia, festivals, and concerts – dedicated to Mozart; to report on Mozart activities in other parts of the world; to serve as a center for information about Mozart resources and materials in the Americas; and to encourage interdisciplinary scholarship through links with other organizations.
Our society is affiliated with the American Musicological Society, at whose fall conferences we hold our annual business meeting and a study session devoted to Mozart; and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, at whose annual meetings in the spring we present sessions on a variety of Mozart topics. We also hold biennial meetings and occasional symposia and, through our Newsletter and website, foster a network of communications about Mozart, his music, and the culture in which he lived.