Free Folger Friday: Mozart vs. Salieri

Examining the men—and music—behind the myth

Friday, November 22, 2019, 6:00 pm
Folger Theatre
Free, reservations requested

Classical WETA’s James Jacobs explores the history of the “Mozart vs. Salieri” myth, providing historical context for the action of Peter Shaffer’s play. 

Reserve Your Spot

How does mediocrity stack up to genius? Did Salieri really poison Mozart? While these composers did and wrote much to create this historical fantasy, they were helped along by two centuries of pop culture; their rivalry depicted in opera, film, and literary adaptations. Despite all of this, a recently-unearthed cantata believed to be co-written by Mozart and Salieri hints at a professional understanding that may have existed after all. 

After this Free Folger Friday, join us for the 8pm performance of Amadeus. Purchase tickets online or call the Box Office at 202.544.7077.


James Jacobs can be heard Tuesday through Friday evenings on Classical WETA 90.9 FM. He has worked as a radio host and producer since 1999 with programming on WNYE, WNYC and WGBH in Boston. 

In addition to radio, James has had a long career as a musician, educator, and composer. He has appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion," "Saturday Night Live," BBC Radio Four’s "Soul Music," and has written for The Washington Post and Moment Magazine. Recently, he conducted his own English-language adaptation and chamber arrangement of Mozart’s Così fan tutte for Act Too Studio, a opera program for teenagers in Western Massachusetts.