Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791), was an Austrian composer renowned for having composed numerous concertos, symphonies, operas and sonatas that have shaped classical music.
As the son of a successful composer at the Salzburg court, Mozart was introduced to music at an early age. He loved mimicking his big sister’s playing and his father saw that he had a remarkable talent so he became young Mozart’s tutor.
Soon, the boy exceeded everyone’s expectations — by the age of six he was composing his own music. The proud father decided to take him on a tour around the palaces to show off his son’s genius to kings and queens.
At just 17 years old, Mozart got a job in Salzburg as a court musician, but his ambition took him to Vienna where he composed and performed for his fans until his very last breath.
Nowadays, he is widely recognized as one of the greatest composers in history. Unlike Beethoven and Haydn, another two brilliant musicians, Mozart wrote in all the musical genres of his day and excelled in every single one. Music was simply pouring out of him and in his short 35 years of life, he made the world a much richer place.
Here are 20 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart quotes on what makes a genius:
I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.
Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.
The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.
We shall go on doing till we can do something worth doing; but I am one of those who will go on doing till all doing are at an end.
To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.
I am not thoughtless but am prepared for anything and as a result can wait patiently for whatever the future holds in store, and I’ll be able to endure it.
They probably think because I am so small and young, nothing of greatness and class can come out of me; but they shall soon find out.
A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.
All I insist on, and nothing else, is that you should show the whole world that you are not afraid. Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak — and speak in such a way that people will remember it.
When I am traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.
Our riches, being in our brains, die with us… Unless of course someone chops off our head, in which case, we won’t need them anyway.
I should like to know for what reason idleness is so popular with many young people that it is impossible to dissuade them from it either by words or by chastisements.
Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of causing disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.
He fixed his eyes on my fingers while I played to him, then said suddenly, “My God; I work at it till I sweat and yet get no success – while you, my friend, simply play at it!” “Yes,” said I, “but I too had to work in order that I might be exempt from work now.
One must not make oneself cheap here – that is a cardinal point – or else one is done. Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance.
It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.
I thank my God for graciously granting me the opportunity of learning that death is the key which unlocks the door to our true happiness.
Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counter-pointists to hack post-horses; therefore be advised, let well alone and remember the old Italian proverb: Chi sa più, meno sa (Who knows most, knows least).
I beg you most humbly to go on loving me just a little and to make do with these poor congratulations until I get some new drawers made for my small and narrow brainbox in which I can keep the brains that I still intend to acquire.
Forgive me, Majesty. I am a vulgar man! But I assure you, my music is not.