Mozart is everywhere here in Austria. His face is plastered on a brand of marzipan-filled chocolate candies (Mozartkugeln); he walks around in Vienna's city center selling tickets to the Opera; he's played during the Vienna City Marathon (imagine having to run for hours listening only to classical music... ZzZzZz); he's on tourist shirts, mugs, etc.
And he even shows up to my school on a regular basis. Last year, one of the students wore a Mozart shirt EVERY day to school. I'm not exaggerating. He also drew Mozart in every one of his pictures. He would draw and cut out violins and play them pretending to be Mozart. During his weekly piano lessons he would only play Mozart. He even defended Mozart's name and honor to a fellow classmate of his. And on Fasching (Halloween), he came dressed to school in a homemade, and pretty kick butt, Mozart costume and wig. This kid was obsessed-- and five, mind you.
I was reminded of all of this today during snack time as the radio played in the background. One of the new students, also five, asked the teacher: "Is that Mozart? Can you turn it up?!" I mean, this kid was giddy beyond excitement about Mozart.
In the land of classical music and a love-affair with prominent figures of the past, it seemed rather fitting. Only in Austria would a child ever be able to recognize and be excited about Mozart. Only in Austria.