Mozart’s death: sorting out fact from fiction

Pianist Katie Mahan in front of Mozart’s wife’s grave. Constanze Mozart died in

An ancient cemetery is a good setting to sort out fact from fiction around Mozart's death. In this Halloween edition of Mozart Snapshots, pianist Katie Mahan takes us to a cemetery in Salzburg established in the waning years of the 16th century.

Mozart himself is not buried there. He was buried in a common grave in Vienna in 1791. But his father, Leopold, and his wife, Constanze, are buried at St. Sebastian Cemetery in Salzburg. With gravestones as the backdrop, Katie tackles the big questions about Mozart's death:

  • Who really commissioned the Requiem from Mozart, and did Mozart end up believing he was writing his own requiem?
  • Was Mozart poisoned? Is it a true story that Mozart's sometimes-rival Antonio Salieri poisoned him?
  • If not, how did Mozart die?
  • How did the stories around Mozart's death start?

The facts, and the fiction, surrounding Mozart's early death helped create a mystique that fueled his early legacy. Find out more in this last Mozart Snapshots of 2022 with Colorado native Katie Mahan.

Pianist Katie Mahan is from Golden, Colorado, but lives in Salzburg now for her concert career. She is following in Mozart's footsteps in his home city every week in this video blog series. Katie will be back at the end of January 2023 with four more Mozart Snapshots episodes for Mozart's birthday.

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