Maria Anna Mozart, Wolfgang’s older sister by five years, was one of the best pianists in Europe until Wolfgang started playing. She was nicknamed Nannerl, and was able to play any work put in front of her. By age 12, she was considered one of the best in Europe. Scholars debate whether Nannerl would have influenced Mozart with her musical talents, while their father was a court musician who enjoyed teaching both Nannerl and Wolfgang. They were a very musical family. However, Wolfgang began to overshadow Nannerl’s talents.
She still helped to teach him along with her father, as they both taught him music at a young age. They even played together on tour for years. It was also Nannerl that wrote down Wolfgang’s first symphony as he dictated it to her, which raises the debate of whether she improvised anything.
Yet, once she was eighteen and eligible to marry, she was not taken on tour anymore with her father and Wolfgang. Until she married in 1784 she composed music to which Wolfgang wrote her in a letter, “My dear sister! I am in awe that you can compose so well, in a word, the song you wrote is beautiful”.
Unfortunately, the music Nannerl composed was lost over the years. But her memory will live on through Wolfgang’s music, like in Mozart’s Magic Flute!
Article: The Family’s First Prodigy