"Amadeus" the Movie vs. Amadeus the Composer

Many know Mozart through his music: serene, organized, ingenious, beautiful. But did his real life persona personality match the character in Amadeus?

1. Mozart was a prankster. TRUE.

A famous example occurred during a performance of The Magic Flute. A character is required to pretend to play a glockenspiel. At one performance, Mozart sneaked backstage to actually play a glockenspiel, later writing: "As a joke, I played music when he was speaking. … He was forced to hit the glockenspiel, mumbling 'Stop it!' Everybody laughed."

2. Mozart conducted his pieces from the podium. FALSE.

The movie shows Mozart conducting several of his pieces from the podium in front of his orchestra. The concept of a conductor leading an orchestra didn’t really take off until the nineteenth century. In Mozart’s day, tempo and volume decisions were primarily decided by the concertmaster and keyboardist.

3. Salieri killed Mozart. FALSE

Mozart’s death is still mysterious. His death record listed "severe military fever," but dozens of theories have been proposed, including influenza, mercury poisoning, a kidney ailment, and acute rheumatic fever. The movie inferred that another composer, Salieri, did him in. Salieri did “confess” to killing Mozart while out of his mind later in life, but musicologists consider this unlikely.

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Special Events

Join us to celebrate our 75th Anniversary at these exciting events.

Dinner Series
Six Dinners throughout the season

Orchestra Brunch
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Celebrate 75 Concert and Gala
Thursday, February 15, 2024


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Our mission is to engage, educate, and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.


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