Mozart &
Material Culture


Franciscan monk, composer, teacher, maestro di cappella at S. Francesco, Bologna, from 1725–1770, author of the three-volume Storia della musica (Bologna, 1757–1781), and member of the Bolognese Accademia Filarmonica; his students included J. C. Bach, Gluck, Grétry and Jommelli. 

Carlo Faucci, Martini.png

Carlo Faucci, Giovanni Battista Martini, 1776 (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France)

Mozart Relevance

Mozart and his father first met Martini in Bologna in March 1770; on or about 9 or 10 October 1770 he corrected a copy of Mozart's Accademia examination setting of the antiphon Quaerite primum K86 (Bologna, Biblioteca Musical G. B. Martini) and on 12 October wrote a testimonal for Mozart:

  1. I, the undersigned, attest that, having seen some musical compositions in various styles, and having several times heard [him play] the harpsichord, the violin and sing, Sig. Cav. Giov. Amadeo Wolfgango Mozart of Salzburg, master chamber musician to His Highness the eminent Prince Archbishop of Salzburg, aged 14 years, to my particular admiration, was found by me most highly versed in all the musical qualities indicated, he having passed every test whatsoever, above all in playing on the harpsichord various subjects given him to improvise, which with great ease he carried out according to all the conditions demanded by Art. In token whereof I have written and subscribed this in my own hand. F. Giambattista Martini Minor Conventual.
(Bologna, Conservatorio G. B. Martini; Deutsch, MDB 127-128).

On 4 November Martini paid Mozart's Accademia admission fee: 'Received at the hands of Padre Maestro Martini forty lire on behalf of Sig. Wolfgang Mozart of Salzburg, knight of the Golden Spur, for his admission into the Academy and his election as a foreign member in the rank of composer, namely L[ire] 40' (Deutsch, MDB, 128). 

Mozart and his father were in contact with Martini after their return to Salzburg:  in September 1776 Leopold sent Martini a copy of Mozart's Misercordia Domini K222 and in 1777 a portrait of Wolfgang wearing the Order of the Golden Spur that had been conferred on him in 1770 by Clement XIV.


Anon, Mozart wearing the Order of the Golden Spur, Salzburg, 1777 (privately owned)

Date 1
1706-04-24, Bologna
Date 2
1784-08-03, Bologna
Bibliographic Reference
Pompilio, Angelo, ed. Padre Martini: Musica e cultura del settecento europeo (Florence, 1987); Basso, I Mozart in Italia (Rome, 2006), 602-5