Maria Theresa von Paradis
Maria Theresa von Paradis was an Austrian music performer and composer who lost her sight at just five years old. Named after the Empress to whom her father was Secretary of Commerce and Court Councilor, she received a broad musical education in piano, singing and theory. Performing as a singer and pianist, she commissioned works from various different composers, including a piano concerto from Haydn (HXVIII: 4) and an organ concerto from Salieri (missing its second movement). She had an excellent memory and exceptionally accurate hearing that meant, dispite her sight problems, she could get to grips with all these conplex works. At her height, she knew a staggering 60 concertos by heart.
It is believed that Mozart wrote his 18th piano concert in B flat in 1784 for Maria Theresa. Listen to a work composed by this talented lady as well as the piano concerto in full on our special playlist dedicated to an exceptional woman.