Each and every one of us is shaped by the place where we spend our earliest years. Mozart was no exception. Although one of the first true cosmopolites of classical music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a native of Salzburg, Austria, and it was in this picturesque city at the foot of the Alps that “Wolferl” took his first breaths and played his first notes. It was there, in the comfort of a happy home in the city’s old town, that the talent of one of the world’s most beloved composers was first discovered and that his genius came to be. In her video series Mozart Snapshots, Katie explores the composer’s relationship to his home town through fun-filled conversations, insightful interviews and once-in-a-lifetime visits to interesting locations in Salzburg that have a special connection to Mozart and his family, then and now.

Mozart Snapshots is a collaboration with Colorado Public Radio. Episodes are featured Wednesdays on Midday Mozart with Karla Walker and are accompanied by a recording of the complete major piano works of Mozart performed live by Katie in the Marmorsaal of Schloss Mirabell. Project will continue through spring 2023.

Introducing: Mozart Snapshots!
An exclusive new series that follows Mozart’s footsteps through the city of his birth. Katie takes us to places where no tourists are allowed!
Mozart played the organ. Who knew?
In this episode of Mozart Snapshots, Katie Mahan takes us inside the Salzburger Dom and gives us an exclusive tour of the organ Mozart played every week with the current organist of the cathedral.
Mozart: The room where it happened
In this episode of Mozart Snapshots, Katie Mahan takes us into Mozart’s Geburtshaus (birthplace) for a tourist-free walk through the house and shares a wealth of information about his early years.
Mozart’s favorite meal
Mozart was wined and dined by royalty, yet in his extensive correspondences with family and friends, he rarely commented on the food he was served. So just what did he like to eat?
Leopold Mozart and the Salzburg Bull
The medieval fortress Festung Hohensalzburg is not only the most famous landmark of Salzburg, but it also has the oldest continually operating mechanical organ in the world. Leopold Mozart has a special connection to this unique organ. On this episode, we get to take an up-close, one-of-a-kind look at the organ and a private walk through the princely rooms of the fortress for a discussion of just who “Papa” Mozart was!
Mozart’s childhood was filled with friends and family fun
Mozart grew up in Salzburg, but over a third of his adolescence was spent traveling Europe showing off his extraordinary keyboard skills and learning from other composers and musicians. We know a lot about those travels because of the letters sent home to Salzburg.
Mozart was a fashionista. Stylish clothes were a must for him.
Mozart loved to dress well and spent large sums of money on extravagant clothes and the latest fashions. His sense of style was just another extension of his creativity. Mozart’s flair for fashion developed at an early age, when he often wore hand-me-downs from royal children.
That time when Haydn beat out Mozart for a job
Mozart had friends in high places, most notably his father who was one of the most important musicians in Salzburg. In his role, Leopold held control over which composers received commissions. Not surprisingly, a lot of those commissions for church pieces went to his son, Wolfgang.
The man with the money behind Mozart’s childhood travels
Mozart didn’t have an ordinary childhood. He never went to school. And he didn’t live at home very much. Instead, his father, Leopold, packed up the family and traveled Europe to show off the extraordinary keyboard skills of Mozart and his older sister, Nannerl.
Mozart’s homeopathic cure for a painful ailment
A strong cup of coffee may be the cure you need in the morning to wake up and begin working, but in Mozart’s time it was thought to also cure stomach ailments. Hot chocolate, besides being delicious, was thought to make your blood vessels stronger. And then there was almond milk.
Was Mozart outshined by his sister?
The tiny St. Johanneskirche am Imberg is rumored to have been the favorite little hideaway of Wolfgang and Nannerl Mozart as children. Dating back to the year 1319, this “kirchlein” is the oldest church on the east side of the Salzach River that flows through the center of Salzburg.
Who was the Female Mozart
Mozart’s star shines so brightly in history that it overshadows nearly everyone around him, including his extraordinarily talented sister, Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart. By all accounts, Nannerl was Wolfgang’s equal as a keyboard player. She often served as her brother’s first pair of eyes for his keyboard compositions.
Mozart and ‘The Sound of Music’: Inside Salzburg’s Mirabell Palace
Fans of the movie “The Sound of Music” know the gardens of Salzburg’s Schloss Mirabell (Mirabell Palace) well. But long before it was the setting for the famous Hollywood movie, it was the home of the Prince-Archbishop.
Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”: The lovable Papageno
Mozart lived to write opera, but he struggled with box office success. The initial run of “The Marriage of Figaro” in Vienna ran only nine times before closing. “Cosi fan tutte” was performed only five times before closing in respect after the Emperor’s death. But “The Magic Flute” was another story.
Mozart’s shadow looms large over the city of Salzburg
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a petite 5′ 4″, but his shadow looms large over his city of birth, Salzburg, Austria. Tourism is Salzburg’s biggest industry today, and Mozart is at the center of that multi-billion-dollar industry.
Sunday was Funday for Mozart and his family
Sundays started with Mass for the Mozart family who were working musicians for the Archbishop’s weekly church service. But after Mass, Sundays were spent with friends playing games, drinking beer and going for strolls. The Mozart’s like to bowl and play Bölzlschiessen, a game of shooting darts at painted targets with air guns.
Constanze Mozart: Who was Mrs. Mozart?
When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart suddenly died at the age of 35, his wife Constanze was determined to keep his memory alive. She organized his manuscripts, found publishers for his unpublished works and set up concerts in his honor. But is often forgotten that Constanze was from a family of highly successful musicians and was a talented singer herself.
Mozart’s favorite pet: a starling that could sing his melodies
Mozart had a number of pets over the course of his short life, but one stands out above all the others: his pet starling. The bird first attracted Mozart’s attention in May of 1784 when he heard it singing the melody of his latest — and not yet published — piano concerto.
Mozart’s sense of humor: Jokes, riddles and toilet-humor. Mozart Schmäh!
Mozart’s sense of humor: jokes, riddles and toilet-humor.
Mozart’s sense of humor was off-color — adolescent and inappropriate by today’s standards. Some of his scores are riddled with good natured insults and jokes, especially his horn concertos that he wrote for a family friend, Joseph Leitgeb. 
Mozartkugeln: How to spot the real bonbon
Finding Mozartkugeln isn’t hard. You can find it online or at a specialty grocer. But finding authentic Mozartkugeln in Colorado, or the U.S., is nearly impossible.
What do Mozart’s Italian operas and the film ‘The Sound of Music’ have in common? A little known Count.
Mozart might not have ever written Italian opera had it not been for a little known Count, whose house was used two centuries later as the backdrop for ‘The Sound of Music.’
Mozart’s terrifying character in the opera ‘Don Giovanni’
Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” is full of drama, ambiguity, comedy, tragedy and even supernatural elements. Don Giovanni is a scoundrel who lives for pleasure, but he meets his match with the character Il Commendatore, the father of a young woman Don Giovanni tries to seduce.
For the Mozart family, having friends in high places was the norm
In this week’s episode of Mozart Snapshots, pianist Katie Mahan takes us to an off the beaten path hidden gem in Salzburg, the beautiful rococo villa “Robininghof”. The home is named after it’s 18th century owner Georg Joseph Robinig von Rottenfeld, who owned a mining company outside of Salzburg.
The inspirations and intrigue behind Mozart’s opera ‘The Magic Flute’
Freemasons, the Illuminati and the mystery of who killed Mozart are all part of the lore surrounding the creation of Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.” In this episode of Mozart Snapshots, pianist Katie Mahan takes us to two sources of inspiration for Mozart’s most successful opera.
Mozart’s home-school education
Mozart’s father, Leopold, educated Mozart and his sister, Nannerl, and there’s no question that Leopold Mozart taught his children music. But what about reading, writing and math?
Strings Attached: The magical world of Mozart puppet theater
Nicknamed the “Puppets of Mozart”, the Salzburger Marionettentheater is known worldwide for its productions of full Mozart operas, all performed by a cast of one-of-a-kind handmade wooden puppets. But just where did the idea of puppet operas originate and what is it that makes the Salzburg marionettes so special? 
The link between Beethoven and Mozart
The young Ludwig van Beethoven had every intention of studying with Mozart. In 1787, when Beethoven was 16, he traveled to Vienna to meet and study with Mozart. But then his mother fell ill shortly after his arrival and Beethoven had to return to Bonn, Germany.
Mozart’s favorite (and only) form of transportation
Today you can travel from Salzburg to Vienna in under three hours. When the Mozart family undertook that trip, it took three weeks! It may seem like a long trip, but Vienna was one of the closest destinations for young Wolfgang.