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Microphone Month

Mozart’s Instruments Come to the U.S.

For most of the year, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s personal instruments are kept under lock and key in Salzberg, Austria at the Salzburg Mozarteum. But recently, his violin and viola paid a visit to the United States — their first time across the pond — for a premiere at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York; they also appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival earlier.

The violin and viola traveled on separate airplanes, accompanied by a 6-person team, who kept a very low profile to avoid attracting attention.

The violin is a Klotz, while the viola’s maker is unknown; neither instrument projects the visual flair you might expect for instruments used in the royal court; both are “workhorse” tools.

Read more — including reactions from the musicians who played the instruments — and hear audio from the All Things Considered broadcast at NPR’s website.

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