What is widely known is that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the definition of a child prodigy. He was composing by the tender age of 5, he was competant with both piano and violin. By 17, he was a royal court musician and he composed over 600 pieces before his untimely death at age 35. It’s easy to see that he had many talents and was able to create constantly.
What’s less widely known, however, is that he grew up practicing furiously in a time with almost no recognizable distractions. No cars, planes or trains, let alone cell phones or computers. So it’s easier to understand how he found the time to become such a skilled composer.
It wasn’t all practice of course, but he had a very clear advantage by taking that talent and work ethic and creating a legacy that would last for generations.
Below we’ve compiled 10 of the most iconic Mozart quotes we feel stand the test of time. We also examine how these quotes can be used to inspire us all to be fearless, courageous and pursue our talents as feverishly as Mozart did.
Mozart Quotes: 10 Inspiring Sayings To Live By
1) On The Fear of Public Speaking:
“All I insist on, and nothing else, is that you should show the whole world that you are not afraid. Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak – and speak in such a way that people will remember it.”
Our Interpretation: Be fearless. Don’t allow your social anxiety to keep you from shining.
2) On knowing when to shut up:
“To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”
Our Interpretation: Get to the point. Resist the urge to say more than necessary in order to get your point across.
3) On The Secret to genius:
“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
Our Interpretation: In order to do incredible work, you must love what you do. Repeat it, and eventually, you may create something incredible.
*Edit: This quote was actually the work of biographer Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin’s. We liked it so much we left it in the article.
4) On Sleep:
“Sleep, those tiny slices of death, how I despise them!”
Our Interpretation: Sleep when you’re dead. Take advantage of every waking hour to give yourself the best chance at creating a masterpiece.
5) On Critics and Criticism:
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”
Our Interpretation: You’re never as good or as bad as they say. Focus only on what you believe in, and follow your heart. It will guide you
6) On “Ah Ha” Moments:
“When I am traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.”
Our Interpretation: Call it the shower principle if you want, but there are going to be times when some of your greatest ideas will occur outside of normal work hours. Have a pen, notepad, or cell phone handy to capture those moments when they do happen. Also, don’t be afraid to carve out some time to help push that snowball down the hill.
edit: It’s been brought to our attention that this quote may orginate from a forged letter. We were unable to confirm either way.
7) On Time:
“I thank my God for graciously granting me the opportunity of learning that death is the key which unlocks the door to our true happiness.”
Our Interpretation: Our time is limited and should not be wasted. Savor every minute of the life you have and recognize that what makes it special is the fact that it will eventually end.
8) On Being Persistent Without Being Abrasive:
“Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of causing disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.”
Our Interpretation: You catch more flies with honey. It is essential to be passionate but be respectful in how you deliver your, product, pitch or message.
9) On Being Tactful:
“One must not make oneself cheap here – that is a cardinal point – or else one is done. Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance.”
Our Interpretation: Exercise restraint. You can be persistent without being abrasive.
10) On Practice:
“It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.”
Our Interpretation: Practice truly does make perfect. Do not allow yourself to believe that your idols or peers can rely solely on their talent.
Do you have any inspiring quotes about Mozart we may have missed? Do you disagree with our take on each one? Let us know in the comments.