Many people believe that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the most significant musical genius to have ever lived. His more than 800 compositions, which included concertos, symphonies, and operas, helped to define the classical age and served as an inspiration to composers such as Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Even now, performances of his music can be found all over the world. Mozart, a young maestro, began writing pieces at the age of five and his first symphony at the age of eight. He performed for royalty while touring Europe with his family. He was named court concertmaster in Salzburg in 1769 when he turned 13. He would later serve for other royal clients, including Emperor Joseph II, before going out on his own as an independent.
At 35, Mozart passed away in 1791 after becoming ill during the world premiere of his opera La Clemenza di Tito. Some of his most beloved compositions, such as the opera The Magic Flute and his Requiem, which he was unable to complete before his death, were created during his fruitful final year.
Count Franz von Walsegg of Schloss Stuppach in Salzburg, Austria commissioned Mozart’s last composition. The bidding for this historic castle, one of the few in lower Austria still privately owned, will be open until December 14 at Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions in New York. A price of 12 million euros was previously offered for the palace. Known as “Mozart’s Last Castle,” the building now houses multiple other companies and a top-notch performance venue. The property acquisition includes access to the experience theatre, club salon, concert program, and castle shop.
With some partial renovations in the 15th and 17th centuries, the castle has a complex history that begins at least in 1130. The officer in charge of the castle defied the Nazi orders to blow it up in 1945 so that it wouldn’t fall into Soviet hands, and the castle survived. Its architecture, which incorporates aspects of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, reflects the several eras in which it was built. The exquisite four-story home is encircled by a beautifully designed park featuring ornate gardens and historic trees.
The old house has rare treasures throughout. The 50 rooms of the castle offer a variety of leisure areas, including a formal dining room, two halls, a movie theatre, and a library. The estate also has a dungeon and the Renaissance-style Requiem chapel. Along with Mozart, other well-known guests of the castle include Emperor Franz Stephan of Lothringen, Napoleon Bonaparte, Franz Schubert, Pope Pius VI, and Princess Isabelle von Bourbon-Parma.
The Austrian village of Gloggnitz is home to Schloss Stuppach. The region has a wealth of historical sites and several Gothic and Baroque architecture. It’s conveniently located—a rail or automobile ride from Vienna takes only about an hour. Vienna, sometimes called the “City of Music,” has a rich and lengthy history of classical music, opera, and theatre. Mozart resided in the city for much of his career, married at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and was interred in the St. Marx Cemetery. Numerous monuments, a museum, and the composer’s surviving apartment testify to the composer’s close relationship with Austria’s energetic city.
The auction will be held by Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions. Photos: Thomas Meyer Photography provided by Concierge Auctions.