Volume LIIIAugust 2006Number 3

Celebrating Brother Mozart's 250th Birthday
By Glenys Waldman, Librarian, The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania

Portrait from life by Mozart's brother-in-law, Joseph Lange

The whirlwind of musical creativity that was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (1756-1791) is being celebrated in a small exhibition of Mozartiana: books, music scores, articles, photographs and "commemorabilia." The exhibit, mounted in the Museum at the Masonic Temple, emphasizes Mozart's brief Masonic life. Wolfgang Amadeus, as he was better known, was born Jan. 27, 1756 - 50 years and 10 days after Bro. Benjamin Franklin.

The "Wunderkind" was first taught by his father, Bro. Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (1719-1787). Two of his greatest mentors and friends were Masons: Bro. Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782, youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach), a member of the Lodge of the Nine Muses No. 235, London; and Bro. Franz Joseph "Papa" Haydn (1732-1809) who joined in Mozart's presence. They probably never met, but Bro. Mozart (among others, including Beethoven) happily wrote several pieces of music for Bro. Franklin's mechanized version of the glass harmonica, originally invented by Richard Puckeridge, of Ireland, in 1743.

An enthusiastic Freemason, Bro. Mozart was initiated into the Lodge Zur Wohltätigkeit (Charity, Benevolence) Dec. 14, 1784; passed in the Lodge Zur Wahren Eintracht [True Harmony] Jan. 7, 1785, at the request of his Mother Lodge. A date of raising is not given; however, Mozart was a Master Mason. At Mozart's urging, his father, Leopold, and his friend, composer Joseph Haydn, became members of the fraternity: Leopold was initiated probably on Apr. 6, 1785 and passed to the second degree on Apr. 16, 1785 in Lodge Zur Wohltätigkeit. Haydn was initiated Feb. 4, 1785 in the Lodge Zur Wahren Eintracht, with Bro. Wolfgang Mozart in attendance.

Bro. Mozart died on Dec. 5, 1791, and was buried in an unknown grave in Vienna. A Lodge of Sorrows was held for him.

Mozart's Masonic music includes an Opening and Closing Ode on the occasion of the consolidation of his Lodge Zur Wohltätigkeit with two others to form the Lodge Zur Neugekrönten Hoffnung (New-Crowned Hope). Two cantatas, several songs, funeral music, the 39th symphony, and one of the greatest operas of all time, "The Magic Flute," are all Masonic.

News FLASH! There are just a few Mozart nutcrackers ($99.00) by Steinbach left. Commemorate Bro. Mozart's 250th Birthday with style. Contact the Executive Director at AZFrederick@pagrandlodge.org or by calling (215) 988-1909.

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