Mozart and the Grand Tour: From Rococo to Romanticism

MozArt and the Grand Tour: From Rococo to Romanticism
Art and Music in the Courts of 18th-Century Europe

A Five-Week Lecture-Concert Series by
Victoria Martino, art historian and violin soloist,
and the Musica Pro Arte ensemble
Tuesdays, April 12,19, 26, May 3 and 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Athenaeum Music and Arts Library
La Jolla, California
Art historian and concert violinist Victoria Martino (Harvard A.B. '80) presents her annual five-week lecture-concert series on art and music through the ages. This spring's installment celebrates the 260th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, following the great composer through the courts of 18th-century Europe. Each lecture-concert will feature the art and music of a country that Mozart visited on one or more of his Grand Tours. The audience will be able to step into Mozart's shoes and experience the sights and sounds of Europe's 18th-century elite.

The musical culmination of each evening will be a violin concerto by Mozart. Victoria Martino, internationally known for the past decade as "mistress of the Mozart Marathon," her acclaimed nine-hour performance of all 32 violin sonatas, will now bring her extensive expertise and intimate understanding of Mozart to his violin concerti, all of which were composed and performed by the composer himself at the mid-point of his career. This lecture-concert series will afford a unique opportunity to hear all five of these masterpieces in sequence, accompanied by a visual tour through the art and architecture of Mozart's world.

April 12: Mozart at Home: Austria

In Imperial Austria of Mozart's time, architecture was still dominated by Balthasar Neumann and Lukas von Hildebrandt, and the decorative painters Cosmas Damian Asam and Franz Anton Maulbertsch. The sculptor Raphael Donner set the stage for the neoclassical style. The great master of the enlightenment in music of the time was Franz Josef Haydn, who served as Mozart's mentor in Vienna, after the young composer shook off his father Leopold's influence and abandoned his native city of Salzburg.

April 19: Mozart in Germany

Mannheim was one of the major centers of music in Mozart's time, and the young composer travelled there a number of times in search of employment. Mannheim composers Johann Stamitz and Johann Schobert were highly influential throughout Europe. Other important German cities visited by Mozart on various occasions included Munich, Augsburg, Frankfurt, and Berlin. German artists Heinrich Friedrich Füger, the Kobell family, Asmus Jacob Carstens, and Johann Heinrich Füseli firmly established the neoclassical style, while simultaneously paving the way for romanticism.

April 26: Mozart in England

The English enlightenment found its truest expression in the architecture of William Kent and Horace Walpole. Portraiture and landscape painting were elevated to new heights with the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. In London, the young Mozart found an unexpected connection to the sophistication and elegance of the imported northern German tradition through his acquaintance with Johann Christian Bach and Karl Friedrich Abel.

May 3: Mozart in France

The marriage of Marie Antoinette of Austria to Louis XVI of France forged a strong bond between the two countries, which were reflected in many cultural exchanges. The Viennese Academy of Art was founded on the French model, and led by artists who had been trained in Paris. The Rococo style found its apotheosis in the delectations of François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, while Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Jacques-Louis David championed the opposing neoclassical idiom. Through Christoph Willibald Gluck, there were ties between the opera houses of Paris and Vienna. It was Mozart's greatest hope that he, like Gluck, would be able to pursue a career in both cities, but the French proved to be his most challenging public.
May 10: Mozart in Italy

Leopold Mozart had the greatest respect for the Italian musical tradition. One of young Wolfgang's most important formative musical experiences was his encounter with the renowned Bolognese composer, theoretician and pedagogue, Padre Martini. Since the Baroque era, Italy had been a magnet for artists from all over Europe, and some of the leading painters of the 18th century made their home there, including Raphael Mengs, Angelika Kaufmann, and Gavin Hamilton. Conversely, Italian composers such as Luigi Boccherini and Antonio Salieri made their mark in other European courts, including Vienna.
The Athenaeum has kindly extended tickets for this event at the membership rates to all HCSD members.  If you are interested in meeting Ms. Martino before the event, please inform the Athenauem at the time you purchase your tickets.

For further information, please visit: