Production Overview

Looking for Traces

Since 1902, the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg has been the proud possessor of a skull claimed to be that of Mozart, and of locks of hair similarly purported to be from the genius. Top-ranking experts were for the first time given an opportunity to perform a DNA analysis and chemical test, which opened up a window for a multitude of questions: Is the skull authentic? What did the chemical analysis of the skull and hair find?

The material required for a comparative DNA analysis was harvested (after obtaining the Municipality's approval) from skeletons recovered from Leopold Mozart's grave at the Salzburg cemetery of St. Sebastian. The test series were carried out at the Forensic Institute of Innsbruck University and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Rockville, USA. The chemical analysis was performed by the Department of Chemistry at the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences.

The tracking process pursued by the documentary also extends to the everyday life of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. A parallel story line will show the day-to-day life of a man who was probably the greatest musical genius in the world. Once again, new details and insights are to be expected. Additional counterpoint charm is provided by Trilogy, an acclaimed group of musicians who have specialised in continuing and extending Mozart's melodies.

For months, well-known scientists – DNA specialists, analytical chemists and musical historians – have been participating in a search for a special target: their quest was to clarify whether any remains have been preserved of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (as the great composer liked to call himself). And whether there were any facets to his everyday life that are not yet generally known.

A coproduction for the Mozart year 2006, by Interspot Film Vienna, ORF and arte. Promoted by Fernsehfonds Austria and Filmfonds Wien. Distributed by Digital Classics.

ORFarteFernsehfonds AustriaFilm Fonds Wien


Idea and Script: Burgl Czeitschner
Director: Ute Gebhardt
Photography: Harald Mittermüller, aac
Editor: Martin Biribauer
Producer: Rudolf Klingohr
Executive Producer: Heinrich Mayer-Moroni
Editional department ORF: Franz Grabner

Television Premiere: 8. 1. 2006