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Classical 101

Mozart Minute: The English Mozart

Thomas Linley and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were both born in 1756.  They led similar lives, but their fates could not have been more different. Like Mozart, the English Linley was a gifted violinist. The two met in Florence when they were 14. They played their violins in day-long jam session and became fast friends.  Mozart’s father wrote that they "wept bitter tears" when he and Wolfgang left Linley behind on their departure from Florence (Emily Anderson, The Letters of Mozart and His Family). Like Mozart, Linley’s father was also a musician.  His father led an orchestra in Bath, England.  Like Mozart, Linley composer operas, religious music, instrumental music, and songs.  And also like Mozart, Linley died young.  He was 22 when he drowned in a boating accident. But unlike Mozart, we don’t know Linley’s music today, though much of it survives.  And we don’t remember him as a household name – a brilliant musician gone before his time.