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The other Mozart prodigy

Smithsonian Magazine has posted an interesting article about the other Mozart prodigy, his sister Maria Anna, who was considered to be one of Europe’s finest pianists until Wolfgang arrived on the scene.

“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.”

The young virtuoso, nicknamed Nannerl, was quickly overshadowed by her brother, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, five years her junior. But as one of Wolfgang’s earliest musical role models, does history owe her some measure of credit for his genius?

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Story: Elizabeth Rusch, Smithsonian Magazine | Photo: The Art Archive / Corbis

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