Was Mozart a Freemason?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (born 1756 in Salzburg, Austria), known as Mozart, was initiated into Freemasonry in his early twenties. At this age, the young Mozart was already a musical veteran. He would later move to Vienna, where he composed most of his classics.
Who was Mozart?
You’ll know Mozart as one of the most popular musical composers of the last few centuries, if not of all time. A gifted musical genius, he was the Enlightenment Era’s equivalent of what would be today an A-list pop/rockstar.
At the age of 5, he held the attention of the society including the upper class throughout Europe and had already mastered the piano and the violin. He was heard at the Salzburg University, Bavarian Court, Imperial Court and at the noble houses.
Over the years, he centered himself with an array of European patrons, performing multiple symphonies, operas, concerts, masses, chamber and choral music. He composed some of the most beloved pieces, even today, totaling over 600 works in several genres.
Mozart and Freemasonry
Mozart entered the world of Freemasonry in his late twenties, having embraced the teachings of the illustrious organization. At the time, Freemasonry was popular among the societies elites, royalty and artisans.
His legacy in Freemasonry can be seen in some of his musical compositions, which we will list later. Mozart composed an impressive number of pieces for Masonic Lodges and occasions.
Mozart’s initiation into Freemasonry
At the age of 28, in 1784, Mozart was initiated into Freemasonry brotherhood by receiving his 1st Masonic Degree (the Entered Apprentice degree). Mozart was initiated into a Masonic Lodge called “Benevolence (Zur Wohltatigkeit)” in Vienna, Austria.
Only one month after being initiated, Mozart was he received his 2nd Degree (The Fellow Craft degree) and then just a few weeks after he received his 3rd and highest degree, finally becoming Master Mason.
Mozart’s Masonic journey
Mozart, having achieved the rank of Master Mason, became increasingly engaged in the brotherhood. He was a welcomed attendee at another Viennese Masonic Lodge, called “True Concord (Zur wahren Eintracht)”, a large and aristocratic Lodge.
His mother Lodge, Benevolence, was merged with two other Masonic Lodges and so Mozart became a member of the newly formed Masonic Lodge called “New Crowned Hope (Zur Neugekrönten Hoffnung)”.
The father of Mozart joins Freemasonry
Mozart’s father, Leopold, was himself a musician and was the teacher and mentor of the young prodigy – Mozart’s work would greatly overshadow his father’s. During one of Leopold’s visits to Vienna, in 1785, he was initiated as a Freemason into same Lodge as Mozart.
Mozart’s Masonic Music
Masonic music, even today, features in Masonic meetings and events. With Freemasonry resonating deeply with Mozart, he intertwined Masonic themes throughout some of his classical pieces, some of which were used specifically in Masonic ceremonies and engagements.
- “Fellow Craft’s Journey (Gesellenreise)” – composed in 1785
Mozart composed this musical piece especially for Freemasonry, with “Fellow Craft” being the name of the 2nd degree a Freemason receives. It was performed during the initiation ceremony of Mozart’s father, Leopold, whom we mentioned earlier.
- “The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte)” composed in 1791
The Magic Flute is a two-act opera which Mozart premiered in September of 1791, just two months before his premature death. The Magic Flute is one of Mozart’s final masterpieces and features obvious, although thinly disguised, tributes to Freemasonry.
The Magic Flute composition utilizes the number 3, which is very significant in Freemasonry (3 degrees of Freemasonry). It also features Masonic inspired philosophies, such as enlightenment; the opera is a tale of navigating from darkness to light.
Here are more of Mozart’s Freemasonry inspired compositions:
- “Thamos, King of Egypt (Thamos Konig in Agypten)” – 1773: Mozart composed this at the age of 17, before he was a Freemason. The composition, however, has many themes relating to Freemasonry and so it’s no surprise that he later joined the brotherhood.
- “Masonic Joy (Die Maurerfreude)” – 1785: Mozart composed and performed this at his Masonic Lodge, to honor a Grand Master.
- “Masonic Funeral (Maurerische Trauermusik)” – 1785: Mozart composed and performed this piece at the Masonic funerals of two aristocratic Freemasons; the Duke of Mecklenburg-Streletz and the Count Esterhazy of Galantha.
- “Little Masonic Cantata (Eine Kleine Freimaurerkantate)” – 1791: One of Mozart’s last compositions, written and dedicated to Mozart’s Masonic Lodge. A cantata is a vocal composition accompanied by musical instruments. Mozart died shortly after composing this.
Many of Mozart’s compositions, including some of the above, are still performed in opera’s all over the world, by non-Masons.
Mozart was a committed Freemason who has brought great prestige to the honor roll of Freemasonry. Like many history’s game-changers, Mozart died young at the age of 35. Over 200 years later after his death, his music continues to inspire, entertain and comfort.
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