Published: 06:00, 10 January 2021
| Updated: 11:11, 10 January 2021
While today Canterbury attracts big-name acts such as Bryan Adams and Michael Buble, back in 1765 the city welcomed a boy who would become the most famous composer of all time.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had embarked on his first European tour, in 1762, aged just six.
His father Leopold took him and his older sister Nannerl to perform before the Viennese court in October of that year.
The child prodigy then spent three years on the road, playing to dukes and barons, emperors and empresses, and kings and queens.
The tour would take in 17 cities in seven different countries.
In Paris in 1764, aged eight, Mozart composed his first violin sonata.
Then in April of that year, the family travelled to London and were received by King George III.
Other gigs included an entire week of concerts at the Swan and Harp pub, performing from noon to 3pm.
While the young Mozart and Nannerl were exhausted by the relentless schedule set by their father, Leopold still arranged more shows on their journey from London to Calais in 1765.
This included a performance at the Guildhall in Canterbury.
An advertisement posted in the Kentish Post read: “On Thursday July 25 at Eleven in the Forenoon will be A MUSICAL PERFORMANCE at the TOWN HALL in Canterbury FOR the BENEFIT of Master MOZART, the celebrated German Boy aged eight years and his Sister who have exhibited with universal Applause to the Nobility and Gentry in London. The Compositions and extempore Performances of this little boy, are the Astonishment of all Judges of Music. Admission 2s 6d”.
Although Mozart was in fact nine at the time - and born in Salzburg, not Germany - its fair to say those attending will have got their money’s worth.
That two shillings and six pence would today be worth about £12.81.
Mozart also stopped off at Dover before arriving in Calais on August 1, where a coach was waiting to whisk the family off on the next stage of the tour.
Within three years the child prodigy had written his first opera and his first mass - aged 12.
By the time of his death in 1791, the 35-year-old had composed more than 600 works.