It has long been argued that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the most brilliant child musical prodigy who ever lived. At five years old, he could already play multiple instruments, had begun composing his own pieces, and was performing in the royal courts of Europe. However, eighteen years after Mozart’s death, another child prodigy was born: Felix Mendelssohn. Like Mozart, he demonstrated a rare and breathtaking musical talent. In fact, the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who had seen a seven-year-old Mozart perform in Frankfurt, dared to state that Mendelssohn’s skills surpassed those of Mozart. Goethe remarked to Mendelssohn’s teacher Zelter, “What your pupil already accomplishes, bears the same relation to the Mozart of that time that the cultivated talk of a grown-up person bears to the prattle of a child.”
Regardless of whether Mozart or Mendelssohn was the better musician, the fact that they were both so remarkably talented from such a young age is enough to fascinate and inspire. But, of course, talent alone does not equal success. The lives of child prodigies reveal many other factors that are essential for becoming a virtuoso. In today’s post, we’ll look at the life of Felix Mendelssohn to discover five lessons anyone can use to hone their own talents and skills.