child musical prodigies : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Figure 1.--We believe this was meant to be a portait of the young Mozart at about age 8 years. We do not know, however, who painted it and when. The owner tells us that the portrait was authenticated as circa 1765 based on wood, nails, pigmentation etc.
Mozart was probably the most aclaimed child prodigy of all time. He was born in Salzburg and educated along with his talented sister by his father Leopold who was concertmeister in the court orchestra of the archbishop of Salzburg and a celebrated violinist, composer, and authot of a stndard treatise on violin playing. Young Mozart's extrodinary precocity soon attracted attention. Five short piano pieces perormed at the age of 4 years still exist and are often played. Leopold beginning in 1762 when Mozart was 6 years old began taking the boy and his sister on European tours where there skills were accalimed. Mozart performed on the clavier, violin, and organ. He composed many works as a child. At the time it was common to dress boys, once breeched, as minature adults. Thus Mozart's clothes were small editions of contemporary court fashion. Mozart had the almost unimaginable ability to simply write polished musical scores stright away which required only minor editing. Few other compsers had this ability. One of the few other such composers was Sibelius, according to his granddaughter. Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (who was called "Jean"), the father of Finnish music, was of Swedish descent. He was born in Finland in 1865. Died in 1957. It has not been recorded that he was a child prodigy. If he was (and many composers were talented right from the start), he could not compare with Mozart, who was absolutely astonishing. Mozart had the uncanny ability to edit musical scores in his mind.
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