Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had close ties to Freemasonry. Many of his friends and supporters were Freemasons, including Lorenzo Da Ponte, Emanuel Schikaneder, the Esterhazy family, and Joseph Haydn. By some estimates, at least 25% of subscribers to Mozart’s Vienna concerts in the 1780s were lodge members.
So it was no great surprise when, on December 14, 1784, Mozart himself joined the Masonic ranks. Freemasonry aligned with his Enlightenment-era belief in human dignity, brotherhood, and elevated ideals. The social network expanded his professional opportunities and circle of friends. Perhaps most practically, the Masonic lodges also provided a means of financial support.
In his later years, Mozart accrued significant debts and desperately turned to friends and acquaintances for loans. His Freemason brothers came to his aid with both small and large sums.
In this episode of Mozart Snapshots, pianist Katie Mahan visits Schloss Aigen, once an important Masonic meeting place. She meets with a modern-day Freemason to learn more about this influential group and their musical brother Mozart.
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