Mozart as a Freelance Artist


The most outstanding feature about Mozart’s biography, the one people are most familiar about, is his prodigious musical talent. Everyone is familiar with the story of the precocious Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), who led by his father’s hand, traveled to opulent courts across  Europe as an itinerant child prodigy. As he grew older, he became a professional composer who produced an output of hundreds of compositions in a diversity of genres and styles with many of those works ranking as some of the most inspired music ever composed.

The late German author, Wolfgang Hildesheimer, brought to light in his thick tome about Mozart’s life and work another facet of the native from Salzburg that is perhaps less familiar in the Mozartian mythology. According to Hildesheimer, Mozart was not only an innovator and a master of every musical form, he was also an innovator in the music business; our hero might have been the first freelance composer. Although F. M. Scherer disputes this notion in his essay The Emergence of Musical Copyright in Europe and claims freelance composers had existed a century before Mozart’s period, it is quite clear Mozart possessed an innate rebellious nature that rendered him as an inadequate candidate to vegetate in tedious comfort as a court composer. Not that he felt a conscious need to manifest a rebellious attitude against the current social order; such a sentiment would have been alien to Mozart’s nature. However he probably searched for a context that allowed him to exploit his powerful compositional skills to the best of his ability.


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Three Questions for Stephen Limbaugh

Stephen Limbaugh
Limbaugh traveling in comfort

Pianist Stephen Limbaugh is set to release his first full-length studio album, Pants.  It’s already bouncing up and down in the Top 50 Classical Hot New Releases on Amazon and it’s not due for release until Jan. 20th.

About two years ago, Stephen Limbaugh’s indie rock band Kingsley, decided to put the band on hiatus so that the members could devote some time exploring other projects.  Kingsley guitarist and front man Brandon Sweeney, and drummer Nadir Maraschin are now playing in The Eeries, a previously unsigned rock band that became an overnight success, and thus signed, when Los Angeles based radio station KROQ played their first single on the air last summer.  

Stephen Limbaugh has gone back to his roots of classical music. An accomplished pianist who just recently performed at the HBO Golden Globes after-party last Sunday, Stephen has played all over the world and, when yours truly first met him, had just arrived back in the United States from Russia where he had performed in a symphony he had also written.  So in anticipation of his debut release, the one with the stars & stripes pants on the cover, I asked Stephen to answer 3 questions about his new album and it’s relation to liberty.  Never one to shy away from answering a question, I present to you Stephen Limbaugh’s answers… unfiltered. You’re welcome.