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Melodic Maestro’s Last Castle

24.11.23

With over 800 works including operas, symphonies, and concertos, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is considered the greatest musical genius to have ever lived. A child prodigy, he composed his first pieces at age five and his first symphony at eight. Mozart’s music continues to be performed all over the world today, defining the classical period, his work inspired his successor composers including Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

With his family, he toured Europe performing for royalty. At only 13 years old, he was appointed court concertmaster in Salzburg in 1769 and would go on to work for various royal patrons including Emperor Joseph II, before striking out on his own as an independent. In 1791, at just 35 years old, Mozart fell ill while conducting the premiere of his opera, La Clemenza di Tito, and died. His final year was a productive one, responsible for some of his best-loved works, including the opera The Magic Flute and his Requiem, which he was unable to finish before his passing.

Mozart’s final work was commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg of Schloss Stuppach in Salzburg, present-day Austria. This historic castle, one of the few in lower Austria still in private hands, will be auctioned at Sotheby's Concierge Auctions in New York, with bidding open to December 14. The palace was previously listed for 12 million euros. Known as “Mozart’s Last Castle” the property currently serves as a world-class performance space, including several independent businesses. The experience theatre, club salon, concert program, and castle shop are included in the property purchase.

The castle’s rich history dates to at least 1130, with partial redesigns in the 15th and 17th centuries. In 1945, the Nazis ordered the castle blown up to prevent it from falling into Soviet hands, but the officer in charge refused and the castle survived. Its architecture reflects the different periods of its construction, with elements of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. The gorgeous four-story residence is surrounded by a landscaped park with elaborate gardens and ancient trees. Inside, the historic home is appointed with priceless antiques. The castle’s 50 rooms include numerous entertainment spaces such as a cinema, two halls, formal dining rooms, and a library. The estate also includes the Renaissance-era Requiem chapel and a dungeon. Besides Mozart, other famous visitors to the castle include Napoleon Bonaparte, Franz Schubert, Pope Pius VI, Princess Isabelle von Bourbon-Parma, and Emperor Franz Stephan von Lothringen.

Schloss Stuppach is located in the small mountain town of Gloggnitz, Austria. The area offers numerous Gothic and Baroque buildings and lots of history. Conveniently placed, it is only about an hour by train or car from Vienna. Known as the “City of Music”, Vienna has a long and storied history of opera, theatre, and classical music. Mozart himself spent much of his career in the city, was married at its St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and lies buried at its Cemetery of St. Marx. His preserved apartment, a museum, and numerous monuments attest to the composer’s deep connection with Austria’s vibrant capital.

The auction will be held by Sotheby's Concierge Auctions

Photo Credit: Sotheby's Concierge Auctions.

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