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For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

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By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, co By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, collaborators, and confidantes. As they grew older, Wolfgang was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions, while Maria was told she must stop performing and, ultimately, marry. But she was determined to continue playing the piano every day, for the love of music . . . .


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By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, co By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, collaborators, and confidantes. As they grew older, Wolfgang was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions, while Maria was told she must stop performing and, ultimately, marry. But she was determined to continue playing the piano every day, for the love of music . . . .

30 review for For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Marie

    The 11-year-old and I enjoyed this biographical picture book about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's talented and gifted sister Maria Anna Mozart. The 11-year-old and I enjoyed this biographical picture book about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's talented and gifted sister Maria Anna Mozart.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    A brief but informative story about Mozart's clever and talented older sister. The book also introduces some musical terms for you to learn as well. Ages: 5 - 9 Cleanliness: endearing name-calling of "horse face" and "gnagflow." There is a picture of cupid - nothing visible. **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloada A brief but informative story about Mozart's clever and talented older sister. The book also introduces some musical terms for you to learn as well. Ages: 5 - 9 Cleanliness: endearing name-calling of "horse face" and "gnagflow." There is a picture of cupid - nothing visible. **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nielson

    Everyone knows who Mozart is, but what everyone doesn't know is that he was inspired and taught by his talented older sister. Written in Sonata form, this book sheds light on Maria Anna Mozart, also a musical prodigy. A dynamic duo, Maria and Mozart played before kings and queens, emperors and empresses; but without knowing all of the reasons, Mozart was chosen to continue performing while Maria stayed home. After marriage, moving away, dealing with the loss of her beloved Mozart, Maria Anna pla Everyone knows who Mozart is, but what everyone doesn't know is that he was inspired and taught by his talented older sister. Written in Sonata form, this book sheds light on Maria Anna Mozart, also a musical prodigy. A dynamic duo, Maria and Mozart played before kings and queens, emperors and empresses; but without knowing all of the reasons, Mozart was chosen to continue performing while Maria stayed home. After marriage, moving away, dealing with the loss of her beloved Mozart, Maria Anna played on, for the love of music. The story, combined with noteworthy illustrations, is drawn from actual letters written by the Mozart family and is unique in form and format. Music lovers would especially appreciate it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tanya Wadley

    Great book about Maria Anna Mozart and her brother Wolfgang. It seems like she should have been more famous, in today's world she may have been just as famous as her brother... how sad that her own musical composition was not preserved! I loved the addition at the back of the book (the "long pages" the children never want to read!). that part was the part that made me a little sad... Maria had quite a life with many trials and difficulties. How amazing that Wolfgang was composing music before he Great book about Maria Anna Mozart and her brother Wolfgang. It seems like she should have been more famous, in today's world she may have been just as famous as her brother... how sad that her own musical composition was not preserved! I loved the addition at the back of the book (the "long pages" the children never want to read!). that part was the part that made me a little sad... Maria had quite a life with many trials and difficulties. How amazing that Wolfgang was composing music before he could write... and Maria was writing it for him... seems almost impossible! And how sad that Maria was left behind while Wolfgang and her mother toured (and even worse that her mother died on the tour). There is much more, but you'll have to read it yourself to find out. : )

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    My favorite movie growing up was "Amadeus" and I still love it. When I read biographies on Mozart I remember his sister being mentioned here and there but I never really considered her before. This book was beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, sweet and heartbreaking. I now would like someone to make a movie about she and Wolfgang's early years together. If they could throw in a part for F.Murray Abraham that would be okay too. My favorite movie growing up was "Amadeus" and I still love it. When I read biographies on Mozart I remember his sister being mentioned here and there but I never really considered her before. This book was beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, sweet and heartbreaking. I now would like someone to make a movie about she and Wolfgang's early years together. If they could throw in a part for F.Murray Abraham that would be okay too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    What a lovely story, and the best part, it's true. The artwork is pleasant and the addition of musical terminology to the story makes it great for a music studies resource. How important it is to preserve letters and journals, for if such things belonging to Maria Anna, so much of her life and genius would be known to us now. And yet, without it, a mystery is provided for us, to imagine what will be revealed when all things are known. What a lovely story, and the best part, it's true. The artwork is pleasant and the addition of musical terminology to the story makes it great for a music studies resource. How important it is to preserve letters and journals, for if such things belonging to Maria Anna, so much of her life and genius would be known to us now. And yet, without it, a mystery is provided for us, to imagine what will be revealed when all things are known.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    Tells the story of Maria Anna Mozart from childhood (learning to play the piano) to her old age. The endnotes give more context as to why she didn't keep going on tour, how we know what we know about her, and her disabilities as an elderly woman. There's a lot of fabric texture to the illustrations that I really love. The book is structured like a sonata, though that structure isn't always strong. Tells the story of Maria Anna Mozart from childhood (learning to play the piano) to her old age. The endnotes give more context as to why she didn't keep going on tour, how we know what we know about her, and her disabilities as an elderly woman. There's a lot of fabric texture to the illustrations that I really love. The book is structured like a sonata, though that structure isn't always strong.

  8. 5 out of 5

    emyrose8

    This is an exquisite book. The writing is super descriptive and has lots of figurative language. The illustrations are a fascinating mix of fabrics, paints, and paper. The author arranged Maria’s story in the sonata form. A lot of thought went into making this book!!! And Maria Ann Mozart deserves every bit of it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jo Oehrlein

    I like how each section was introduced with a musical term. Maria was the first musical genius/child prodigy in her family, but she was overlooked by society and her own family in favor of her younger brother. In fact, her own compositions have been lost.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Key Words: Pianist, music prodigy, and sibling of the famous Mozart.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

    A lovely book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

    A nice little book to shine a light on a not so well known Mozart. A pity it wasn't a little longer to have brought out more about Maria Anna Mozart. A nice little book to shine a light on a not so well known Mozart. A pity it wasn't a little longer to have brought out more about Maria Anna Mozart.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Lovely!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Stallman

    This was all totally new to me, but interesting and heartbreaking

  15. 4 out of 5

    Margo Tanenbaum

    Elizabeth Rusch’s new picture book biography about Mozart’s gifted older sister, Maria Anna Mozart is a perfect book to share with budding young musicians. Like her more famous brother, Maria Anna (usually known by her nickname, Nannerl), showed an early gift for music. Her father was a court musician, and the house was filled with music. Her brother, Wolfgang, was born when she was five, and by the time she was ten, the two of them were giving concerts all over Europe. She, too, was considered o Elizabeth Rusch’s new picture book biography about Mozart’s gifted older sister, Maria Anna Mozart is a perfect book to share with budding young musicians. Like her more famous brother, Maria Anna (usually known by her nickname, Nannerl), showed an early gift for music. Her father was a court musician, and the house was filled with music. Her brother, Wolfgang, was born when she was five, and by the time she was ten, the two of them were giving concerts all over Europe. She, too, was considered one of the great pianists of Europe, and the family toured for three years. She was the first to write down her brother’s compositions, and his first duets were for the two of them to play together. But by the time of their next tour, Maria was left at home with her mother, although she continued performing in private concerts and even composed her own music (sadly, none of her own music survives). Without saying so directly, the book makes it clear that Maria did not have the opportunities of her brother; she eventually married and moved to a tiny town far from Salzburg, taking her piano with her. At the end of her life, she moved back to Salzburg, where she taught piano to many children. The book concludes with a moving scene of Maria as an elderly lady, making music with her nephew, Wolfgang’s son. Author Elizabeth Rusch, together with illustrator/designers Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, have constructed a design for this picture book biography that pays tribute to the elegant perfection we associate with Mozart’s piano music. The illustrations are collages of remnants of 18th century style fabric, reproductions of Mozart’s letters and musical scores, along with oil and acrylic paintings on canvas. The elaborate fabrics in the 18th century clothing worn by the figures in the paintings is echoed in the patchwork remnants which surround the printed text. Moreover, the narrative is written in sonata-allegro form, the musical structure which underlies classical sonatas. In other words, the narrative is divided into movements in lieu of short chapters: first movement, development, recapitulation, coda, etc. This sophistication will go completely over the heads of young children who are not immersed in classical music lessons, but is not entirely necessary to enjoy the story. This book can therefore be enjoyed on several levels, one requiring some musical knowledge and sophistication, but also just on the level of a compelling story of an unsung musical genius of the 18th century. The book includes an afterword with additional biographical information on Maria, as well as a brief bibliography. Tweens and other young readers interested in learning more about Mozart’s gifted sister should seek out Carolyn Meyer’s excellent novel, In Mozart’s Shadow: His Sister’s Story (Harcourt, 2008).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I'll say up front that I loved this book, so much so that I bought myself a copy. Not only are the illustrations a gorgeous combination of fabric collage, paper, and oil and acrylic on canvas, but the writing follows the parts of a piano sonata. Even those who do not particularly care for classical music know who Mozart is, but I did not realize that at first, his sister was as famous as he was. Clearly Maria had a gift for playing the piano. Unfortunately for her she lived in an era when women I'll say up front that I loved this book, so much so that I bought myself a copy. Not only are the illustrations a gorgeous combination of fabric collage, paper, and oil and acrylic on canvas, but the writing follows the parts of a piano sonata. Even those who do not particularly care for classical music know who Mozart is, but I did not realize that at first, his sister was as famous as he was. Clearly Maria had a gift for playing the piano. Unfortunately for her she lived in an era when women were expected to marry and have children, not have a career. What I especially admired about her was that she continued to play and nourish her gift and passion despite having the opportunity to share her gift with the world taken away. This book provides a glimpse into the mind and heart of a brother and sister who not only shared a love for music, but love for each other. A great story about finding a way to pursue one's dreams whatever the limitations life puts on you. I highly recommend this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debra McCracken

    A lovely touching older child juvenile picture book. The story of Maria Anna Mozart, the 5 year older sister of Wolgang. She was every bit as accomplished and brilliant as her younger brother, and was his first inspiration. They toured together as children, and Maria was widely regarded as one of Europe's best pianists when she was 12. It appears that the only reason she did not go on to the same or greater accomplishements as her brother was due to the fact that she was female. So sad the limits A lovely touching older child juvenile picture book. The story of Maria Anna Mozart, the 5 year older sister of Wolgang. She was every bit as accomplished and brilliant as her younger brother, and was his first inspiration. They toured together as children, and Maria was widely regarded as one of Europe's best pianists when she was 12. It appears that the only reason she did not go on to the same or greater accomplishements as her brother was due to the fact that she was female. So sad the limits placed on women throughout so much of time. My indignation was heightened from this: "Organ playing,for instance, was thought unsuitable for women because you had to move your legs to push the pedals." She always stayed with her music, though, and many individuals were blessed by that, as she taught many students, over the years, to play the piano. She did this for her sheer love of music. I would recommend this book highly to all children, and particularly to those studying music.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Childrens Librarian

    The Picture Book Biography can be a powerful format, and this title about Maria Anna Mozart is a delightful example. The progession of Maria's life is cleverly divided into the parts of a sonata, her most commonly played musical piece, with descriptions of each movement corresponding to her life events at that time. The images are intricate works of textile and paint that draw the reader in closer and encourage them to take their time exploring the rich detail. This biography definitely led me t The Picture Book Biography can be a powerful format, and this title about Maria Anna Mozart is a delightful example. The progession of Maria's life is cleverly divided into the parts of a sonata, her most commonly played musical piece, with descriptions of each movement corresponding to her life events at that time. The images are intricate works of textile and paint that draw the reader in closer and encourage them to take their time exploring the rich detail. This biography definitely led me to a heightened curiousity about this overlooked musician, and it is sad that her works have been lost to the ages - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music is so amazing, and it would be fascinating to compare his work with that of the older sister who inspired him throughout his life. Michelle K. Brisbane Library

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joselyn Whitney

    Eureka! Silver Honor Books Audience: This book is perfect for 2nd thru 4th graders. It is a beautiful, poetic picture book with interesting and short biographical information. It definitely can hold the attention of a younger audience, painting a poignant and lovely picture of a woman's undying love of music and her brother. Appeal: The appeal in this book is how it is presented. The entire book is organized into short biographical passages transformed into sonata movements, with musical terms us Eureka! Silver Honor Books Audience: This book is perfect for 2nd thru 4th graders. It is a beautiful, poetic picture book with interesting and short biographical information. It definitely can hold the attention of a younger audience, painting a poignant and lovely picture of a woman's undying love of music and her brother. Appeal: The appeal in this book is how it is presented. The entire book is organized into short biographical passages transformed into sonata movements, with musical terms used to mark events in Maria's life. The content of this book is so interesting and painted amidst beautiful illustrations. This book is a great way to teach young kids about Great American Composers and other "forgotten" composers in a memorable way. This book isn't just laying out facts about Maria's life; it is literally bringing her to life in a whimsical and lovely manner.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heidi-Marie

    I always wondered what happened to Mozart's sister. I like this telling based on what little is to be had about her life. It showed great respect for Maria. And I loved seeing the close relationship she had with her brother. But best of all, I love that she kept playing. The bio in the back shows just how much she kept playing. A recommendation for any musician or lover of Mozart. This is tender and sweet, and made my musical heart a little happier. Illustrations were nice, too! Oh, and naming th I always wondered what happened to Mozart's sister. I like this telling based on what little is to be had about her life. It showed great respect for Maria. And I loved seeing the close relationship she had with her brother. But best of all, I love that she kept playing. The bio in the back shows just how much she kept playing. A recommendation for any musician or lover of Mozart. This is tender and sweet, and made my musical heart a little happier. Illustrations were nice, too! Oh, and naming the sections of the story after sections of music compositions--brilliant! 4/6/12 2012 Beehive nominee. I'm all for that because I really want kids to know about this little piece of music history.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Wonderful artwork by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher complement the fascinating story of Maria Anna Mozart, the older sister of Wolfgang Mozart. The story is told in a way that is both engaging to young children and thought provoking for adults. The elderly people I read this too loved the story, and it was made even more special by reading poetry of the time and listening to music of the time.Myself, I was reminded of the billboard "You don't have to be famous to be unforgettable." Faced with the Wonderful artwork by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher complement the fascinating story of Maria Anna Mozart, the older sister of Wolfgang Mozart. The story is told in a way that is both engaging to young children and thought provoking for adults. The elderly people I read this too loved the story, and it was made even more special by reading poetry of the time and listening to music of the time.Myself, I was reminded of the billboard "You don't have to be famous to be unforgettable." Faced with the cruel realities of gender inequality, Maria Anna Mozart nevertheless became a teacher and a musical inspiration to her brother and many, many others. I'm just sad I cannot hear the music she composed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I'd heard that W.A. Mozart had an incredible sister, but this book brought her to life in ways that I never knew. This biography, written in the form of her favorite kind of music, a sonata, was really a fascinating story. Beautifully written, with an extraordinary attention to detail, the life of Maria Anna Mozart was a great book and I strongly encourage anyone with even a slight appreciation of classical music to give it a look. The Mozarts were a remarkably gifted family as it turns out, and I'd heard that W.A. Mozart had an incredible sister, but this book brought her to life in ways that I never knew. This biography, written in the form of her favorite kind of music, a sonata, was really a fascinating story. Beautifully written, with an extraordinary attention to detail, the life of Maria Anna Mozart was a great book and I strongly encourage anyone with even a slight appreciation of classical music to give it a look. The Mozarts were a remarkably gifted family as it turns out, and no one went through more strife for her love of music than Maria did. Really a very good book, totally worth your time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Miri

    Wow. Who knew that Mozart's older sister was a child prodigy before he was? She went on tours and was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe at age twelve. He used to sit for hours and listen to her practice when he was little, before he learned to play himself. They played duets on their tours, until the one where she was left behind (probably because of money issues, and of course because she was a girl it was considered improper for her to do things like play the organ, which require Wow. Who knew that Mozart's older sister was a child prodigy before he was? She went on tours and was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe at age twelve. He used to sit for hours and listen to her practice when he was little, before he learned to play himself. They played duets on their tours, until the one where she was left behind (probably because of money issues, and of course because she was a girl it was considered improper for her to do things like play the organ, which required moving your legs). And then she was completely ignored by history. So sad.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Thera Grady

    Wow! Who knew that Mozart's sister was just as good a musician/composer as he was. We enjoyed this book a lot. It was interesting to read about "real" people. I did think it could have had a little better flow,(it jumped from kids to adults rather abruptly) but overall, it is very much worth the read. My 5 year old boy has asked to read this several times. We had a very interesting discussion about why Maria was not allowed to continue to perform. My 7 year old daughter did not like that this wa Wow! Who knew that Mozart's sister was just as good a musician/composer as he was. We enjoyed this book a lot. It was interesting to read about "real" people. I did think it could have had a little better flow,(it jumped from kids to adults rather abruptly) but overall, it is very much worth the read. My 5 year old boy has asked to read this several times. We had a very interesting discussion about why Maria was not allowed to continue to perform. My 7 year old daughter did not like that this was the way things were back then. Neither did I. ;)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A simple story for children about Maria Mozart and her relationship with her brother. The artwork is interesting and lends itself well to the story. The author's notes gives more background and context to Maria's life. I appreciate that the author kept the story focused on Maria's love of music. I do wish, however, that the story included more information about women being allowed a limited role in music and 18th century life. A simple story for children about Maria Mozart and her relationship with her brother. The artwork is interesting and lends itself well to the story. The author's notes gives more background and context to Maria's life. I appreciate that the author kept the story focused on Maria's love of music. I do wish, however, that the story included more information about women being allowed a limited role in music and 18th century life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I didn't realize that Mozart's older sister was so very talented/gifted at the piano. Maria Anna (often referred to as Nannerl) even toured with her brother at one point. If she'd lived in a later era, she would be well recognized in her own right. This picture book biography is broken into musical segments, which I found clever and engaging. The illustrations were wonderful. The information was interesting. My daughters were really interested in this book as well. I didn't realize that Mozart's older sister was so very talented/gifted at the piano. Maria Anna (often referred to as Nannerl) even toured with her brother at one point. If she'd lived in a later era, she would be well recognized in her own right. This picture book biography is broken into musical segments, which I found clever and engaging. The illustrations were wonderful. The information was interesting. My daughters were really interested in this book as well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shelli

    A beautifully illustrated picture book biography on Maria Anna Mozart, Wolfgang Mozart’s loving older sister. Maria’s talents rivaled her brothers but due to finances her touring career ended shortly after it began. Her story is one of sadness, finding redemption in music. Elementary and middle school students will enjoy this lovely informational read, particularly if they are traveling down their own musical path.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Larissa

    Beautifully illustrated/collaged pages tell the tale of Mozart's sister, Maria Ana Mozart, who was at one time more accomplished and famous than her younger brother. For my 6 year old, who knows of the child prodigy, it was facinating to learn more about his sister! Thanks to Donna for the recommendation! Beautifully illustrated/collaged pages tell the tale of Mozart's sister, Maria Ana Mozart, who was at one time more accomplished and famous than her younger brother. For my 6 year old, who knows of the child prodigy, it was facinating to learn more about his sister! Thanks to Donna for the recommendation!

  29. 5 out of 5

    June

    This is a beautiful biography! I love the musical sonata headings, with brief definitions, for the brief vignettes of Maria's life. An "Encore" at the end of the book adds some more details of Maria Anna Mozart's life. A remarkable book that will not only educate people about a remarkable woman, but also educate many readers musically. It would be a great book for Women's History month. This is a beautiful biography! I love the musical sonata headings, with brief definitions, for the brief vignettes of Maria's life. An "Encore" at the end of the book adds some more details of Maria Anna Mozart's life. A remarkable book that will not only educate people about a remarkable woman, but also educate many readers musically. It would be a great book for Women's History month.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I didn't know Wolfgang Mozart had a sister who was his musical equal in every way. Not only does this book provide fascinating information about these 2 musical prodigy siblings, but the very structure of the book is written to imitate a "sonata" musical form. Very well-done and a beautiful introduction to the life and amazing accomplishments of this very talented woman! I didn't know Wolfgang Mozart had a sister who was his musical equal in every way. Not only does this book provide fascinating information about these 2 musical prodigy siblings, but the very structure of the book is written to imitate a "sonata" musical form. Very well-done and a beautiful introduction to the life and amazing accomplishments of this very talented woman!

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