In a letter to Abbé Joseph Bullinger, written on August 7, 1778 from Paris, Mozart states bluntly, “Salzburg is no place for my talent!” He then goes on to enumerate all the ways that he felt Salzburg was inadequate: the court musicians don’t have a good reputation; there is no theater or opera; there are no singers; the orchestra is “rich in what is useless and unnecessary—and very poor in what is essential”; there is not even a decent kapellmeister. Nevertheless, Mozart spent most of his first twenty-five years composing and playing in the Salzburg court orchestra and at the Cathedral. Of course Mozart was supposed to resume his duties in Salzburg after visiting Vienna in the spring of 1781, but he only returned to his home town for a few months in 1783.
This international conference will explore all aspects of Mozart and Salzburg, including Wolfgang’s early education and travel, especially to the nearby court at Munich; the music of Leopold Mozart, Michael Haydn, Giacomo Rust, as well as the other singers and instrumentalists at the Salzburg court; traveling opera troupes, especially Emanuel Schikaneder’s residence in Salzburg in 1780; and finally the works that Mozart wrote for Salzburg: his chamber music and serenades, symphonies and concertos, masses and other church music, and operas.
The conference will be hosted by the International Mozarteum Foundation and will include guided tours to the two Mozart museums, a lecture-recital with Mozart’s original instruments, and a day trip to Munich. The program will be announced at the American Musicological Society meeting in early November. MSA and SECM plan to publish a conference report in collaboration with the Mozarteum Foundation. We also expect to offer access to the conference via the Internet for members who cannot travel to Salzburg.
Program Committee: Paul Corneilson (chair), Dorothea Link, Simon Keefe, Daniel Melamed, Beverly Wilcox