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Top Pick: Mozart Week reminds fans of his awesome talent

WHEN he was five he composed short keyboard pieces, his first works. When he was six he played before the Bavarian emperor and the Austrian empress.
Mozart's immortal classical melodies will fill Bratislava's music halls during the international Week of Mozart Festival from March 6 to 18. Several music ensembles that specialise in performing the genius's compositions will offer a cross-section of his less known works.
"The festival focuses on presenting less famous but at the same time top quality works composed by Mozart, as well as by his contemporaries," said Pavol Polák, a Mozartologist and the festival's organiser.


THE HUNGARIAN FESTETICS QUARTET will perform Mozart pieces for strings on March 12.
photo: Courtesy of Festetics Quartet

WHEN he was five he composed short keyboard pieces, his first works. When he was six he played before the Bavarian emperor and the Austrian empress.

Mozart's immortal classical melodies will fill Bratislava's music halls during the international Week of Mozart Festival from March 6 to 18. Several music ensembles that specialise in performing the genius's compositions will offer a cross-section of his less known works.

"The festival focuses on presenting less famous but at the same time top quality works composed by Mozart, as well as by his contemporaries," said Pavol Polák, a Mozartologist and the festival's organiser.

Headlining the fifth annual festival is the Hungarian string Festetics Quartet. Formed in 1985 by two violinists, a viola and a cello player, the quartet will perform two works by Mozart composed for string quartets. It was this form of chamber music in which Mozart created his most famous works. Playing on March 12, the Budapest musicians will include also a Joseph Haydn composition for string quartet sandwiched between the two Mozarts.

The festival opens March 6 with a symphony that Mozart composed at the age of 11. Rich in ideas and unique in their elaboration, it ranks among the best works of the period. The symphony, along with the Concert for Piano and Orchestra N˛i 15 in B Major K450 and Divertimento in D Major KV 251, will be performed by French pianist Francois Weigel, accompanied by Bratislava Chamber Soloists under the baton of Austrian Wolfdieter Maurer.

The Czech orchestra Virtuosi Di Praga will close the festival on March 16 again with a symphony Mozart composed in his early youth.

The Week of Mozart Festival, organised by the Mozart Community in Bratislava, which is one of 76 such communities around the world, will also play movies about the composer, hold lectures as well as theatrical and opera performances.

The three mentioned concerts of the Week of Mozart Festival are scheduled to begin at 18:00 at Zrkadlová sieň (Mirror Hall) of the Primaciálny Palace on Primaciálne námestie 1. Tickets (Sk90) and an exact schedule of the festival can be obtained at Mestské Kultúrne Stredisko on Uršulínska 11. Tel: 02/5443-2942.

By Zuzana Habšudová

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