History has immortalized Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but very few people know that Mozart's older sister, Maria Anna Mozart, was also a musical prodigy. At age eleven, Maria Anna Mozart, who went by the nickname 'Nannerl', began performing publicly. She played the harpsichord and piano alongside a six-year-old Mozart. Nannerl and Mozart, under their father's supervision, toured for more than three years. Over the course of their tours, they travelled to eighty-eight cities, and their performances received critical acclaim.
Nannerl stopped performing publicly when she turned eighteen. Leopold Mozart, who once took great pride in having two musical prodigies as children, ended her career because he deemed it improper for a woman of marriageable age to perform outside of the domestic sphere. Nannerl obeyed her father and left public performances to Mozart. This is unfortunate, since Nannerl's love of music most likely influenced Mozart's love of music. Leopold taught Nannerl to play the harpsichord years before teaching it to Mozart.
Nannerl, fortunately, continued her love of music despite being unable to perform for dignitaries or the masses. There is evidence that she composed music throughout her life: in some of his letters, Mozart praised Nannerl's composing skills. When thinking of Nannerl, it is hard not to wonder whether she would have reached legendary status like Mozart if not for her gender. Hopefully, in the future, more information about her and her talent will be revealed.