When Mozart was thirty-three, he was passing through Dresden and paid a visit to some friends. A portrait artist named Dora (Doris) Stock was at the household that evening. She made the sketch you see below, a portrait that has since become a famous one of Mozart.
According to Ms. Stock’s account of the evening, Mozart arrived shortly before dinner. He immediately went to the pianoforte and began to improvise. Everyone gathered around to listen. When the servant came in and announced that dinner was being served in the dining room, no one budged. Who could pull themselves away when Herr Mozart was playing so beautifully? So the soup grew cold.
Finally, the hostess’ appetite for music was eclipsed by her appetite for roast beef, so she gently tapped Mozart on the shoulder and said, “We are going to eat now. Please join us.” She did not realize that such a gentle approach wouldn’t be enough to pull Mozart away from his delight. And so, the group ate dinner and dessert accompanied by none other than Wolfgang Mozart improvising at the piano. Imagine being there!