The First Mozart Prodigy

Before young Wolfgang Mozart became the toast of Europe, the family promoted his older sister, Maria Anna Mozart.
“Virtuosic.” “A prodigy.” “Genius.” These words were written in the 1760s about Mozart—Maria Anna Mozart. When she toured Europe as a pianist, young Maria Anna wowed audiences in Munich, Vienna, Paris, London, the Hague, Germany and Switzerland. “My little girl plays the most difficult works which we have … with incredible precision and so excellently,” her father, Leopold, wrote in a letter in 1764. “What it all amounts to is this, that my little girl, although she is only 12 years old, is one of the most skillful players in Europe.”

Her younger brother learned to play as well and eventually joined her on tour. However, Maria, who the family called Nannerl, was taken off the concert circuit when she became old enough to marry. We'll never know what could have become of her music if she'd had the same opportunities as Wolfgang. However, Smithsonian looks at Nannerl's influence on her brother and how much she may have been responsible for his fame. Link

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