The Musical Genius of Mozart

Craig Wright
Craig Wright
Yale University

Craig Wright holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard and has taught at Yale for more than forty-five years, where he continues to offer “The Genius Course” each year. Professor Wright has published several books on music and cultural history, including his latest, The Hidden Habits of Genius. Yale has recognized Wright’s contribution to undergraduate teaching in the form of its two most prestigious prizes: the Sewall Prize and the DeVane Medal. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Chicago and in 2011 was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Encore Presentation 

(Includes Live Professor Q & A!)

 

When asked to provide a list of “geniuses” in Western cultural history, virtually all respondents would include the name Mozart. What is it in Mozart’s music that makes it among the most sublime ever written? What personal traits did Mozart possess that enabled him to create music of this extraordinary quality?

 

Using live music and video clips from operas, as well as from the film Amadeus, we will explore the enormous diversity of Mozart’s music. At the same time, by examining color photographs of his autograph manuscripts and draft sketches, we will witness Mozart’s attention to the smallest detail. Having explored his music in both breadth and depth, our attention turns finally to the enablers of Mozart’s genius: genetic gifts, mentoring, motivation, concentration, self-confidence, and just plain luck. By the end of this session, we will come to see that not only is Mozart’s music great, but Mozart himself was unique, and arguably the most extraordinary creator ever to set foot on this planet.

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