ICONS foundation partners with Mozart Ways to begin an extraordinary new journey

By Emilia Campagna

January 23, 2024

All roads lead to Rome, they say. However, some lead to… Mozart. Today we like to tell you about Mozart Ways, an extraordinary network that brings together cities and cultural institutions associated to the great composer from Salzburg. Fondazione ICONS has recently become part of this distinguished network, an official Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. Mozart Ways was established in 2002 through the initiative of the City of Salzburg, which played a crucial role in coordinating joint endeavours in planning the major celebrations commemorating the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, which took place in 2006.

As you can read below, Mozart visited numerous European cities during his travels: while the complete list is too extensive to include here, you can find full details on the Mozart Ways website. Essentially, each of these European cities has a musical legacy associated with Mozart in some way. The purpose of the network is to enhance this legacy by fostering connections, promoting initiatives inspired by and named after Mozart, and providing support, particularly in the realm of cultural tourism.

Mozart’s travels

Mozart was an incredible composer, but he was also a great traveller.  He travelled from an early age with his family mainly to improve his education, to meet the great musicians of his time, and to promote his own compositions. Let’s take a quick look at some of his most important journeys.

Mozart Ways - The full map of Mozart's travels in Europe
The full map of Mozart’s travels in Europe as reported in the “Atlas historique de la musique”

A family trip

Mozart’s first journeys in 1762 were relatively short, at least by today’s standards: from Salzburg to Munich, and from Salzburg to Vienna. In 1763, the entire family of Leopold Mozart, his wife Anna Maria, and their two child prodigies, Maria Anna (Nannerl) and Wolfgang, set out on a Grand Tour of Europe. At the start of that journey, the children were eleven and seven years old, respectively. The first leg of the tour took the family via Munich and Frankfurt to Brussels, and then on to Paris, where they stayed for five months. They left then for London, where they stayed more than a year, and where Wolfgang made the acquaintance of some of the leading musicians of the day, heard lots of performances, and composed his first symphonies. The family moved on towards The Netherlands, where the performance schedule was interrupted by illness of both children, although Wolfgang continued to compose prolifically. The homeward journey included a second stop in Paris and a trip through Switzerland before the family returned to Salzburg in November 1766. The entire journey took three years!

Trips to Italy

Between 1769 and 1773, the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his father, Leopold, made three trips to Italy. The first trip, spanning 15 months, was an extended tour financed by performances for nobility and public concerts, leading them to the most significant Italian cities. The subsequent two trips centred on Milan, where Wolfgang fulfilled commissions for operas initiated during their first visit. In terms of Wolfgang’s musical development these journeys proved remarkably successful, as his talents were recognised through prestigious accolades such as a papal knighthood and memberships in leading philharmonic societies.

The first of Mozart’s three trips to Italy was the longest and took him all the way to Naples, passing through numerous cities including Verona, Milan, Lodi, Turin, Mantua, Bologna, Florence, Rome.

Heading North

In the early spring of 1789, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart embarked on one of the most extensive journeys of his adulthood, exploring a several cities north of his adopted home in Vienna, including Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. Sadly, the trip took place at a difficult time in Mozart’s career, when he was no longer earning much money from concerts, and his income from composing operas had not made up the difference. He was borrowing money from friends, and his financial situation was very worrisome.

A unique network

As a Mozart city, Lodi is now fully part of the Mozart Ways thanks to Fondazione ICONS, which represents the city in the network. Our membership was warmly recommended by Maria Majno, chair of Mozart Ways, and also chair of SONG, an important initiative for music dissemination in Lombardy.

ICONS Foundation membership enriches the strong representation of Italian institutions and cities by joining Milan, Bologna, Rome, Turin, Padua, Rovereto and many others. We are only at the beginning of this extraordinary journey full of potential. We already look forward to telling you about the benefits coming from this new partnership.

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About Emilia Campagna

Journalist and musician, Emilia is a blogger for Theresia