Viktor Toepelmann

Viktor Toepelmann


Personal profile

Research interests (short)



Historical Performance

17th-century music theory

Research interests


The overarching theme of my dissertation is the documentation of the cultural and intellectual environment of the Mozart family in Salzburg from 1750 until 1790. A particular focus lies on the cultural transfer between the Protestant North and the Catholic South of the German-speaking lands. Enlightenment and Empfindsamkeit as a social and aesthetic ideal are traditionally associated with the northern parts of Germany, yet a new evaluation of sources and documents in Salzburg demonstrates the currency of these ideas in the archbishopric. The dissertation assembles a wide range of information regarding the erudition and interests of Salzburg citizens in general and more specifically of friends and acquaintances in the direct environment of the Mozart family, demonstrating their active participation in a cultural modernity at large. Detailed accounts on the book and sheet music trade in the archbishopric demonstrate the ubiquity of the newest cultural products from North Germany, France and England. At the centre of my dissertation stands a reconstruction of the Mozarts’ Salzburg library and their literary knowledge, which displays their wide interests and their participation in the vibrant cultural life of their hometown. The currency of and the high value attached to Empfindsamkeit within Salzburg culture is demonstrated in locally printed educational books, portrait collections, a ‘hill of friendship’ in Aigen near Salzburg, the theatre repertoire and the books and music for sale in town. It is hoped that this vibrant cultural life, as documented in the present dissertation, will help to challenge several traditional concepts in historiography and Mozart biography about Enlightenment and modernity in Salzburg.

Biographical details

Inspired by the late 18th-century ideal of joining “head, heart and hand” Viktor Töpelmann strives to be a well-rounded musician combining musicological research, teaching and performing. For Viktor music is not an artificial end in itself but a vital form of human expression and communication. He read music at King’s College London and studied baroque cello and viola da gamba at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Musikhochschule Köln. Equally in demand as cellist and viol-player, he has performed widely as soloist, chamber musician and orchestra member. Viktor is cellist of the L’orfeo Barockorchester Linz, he plays the viol and the cello with the Pera Ensemble and forms together with Gerhart Darmstadt the Duo Corona Musica. He teaches viola da gamba, chamber music and performance practice at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Taiwan National University of the Arts. As a director, Viktor has worked with the Taiwan Baroque Orchestra and he leads a chamber choir in Munich (

Education/Academic qualification

Music, Bachelor of Music, King's College London

Master Alte Music (Early Music), Master of Music, Musikhochschule Köln

Master in Performance and Research, Master of Music, Royal Academy of Music


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