A different aspect of the unexpected death of Mozart at the age of 35 years

Kanat A., Gasenzer E. R., Neugebauer E.

CNS SPECTRUMS, vol.24, no.6, pp.628-631, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Editorial Material
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s1092852918001736
  • Journal Name: CNS SPECTRUMS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.628-631
  • Keywords: Mozart, skull fracture, traumatic brain injury, chronic epidural hematoma, history, CHRONIC SUBDURAL-HEMATOMA
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


The cause of the early death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) at the age of 35 has been the source of much discussion in the medical community. Investigators attributed to Mozart nearly 150 different medical diagnoses. However, the neurosurgical aspect of the early death of Mozart has yet to be well-analyzed, and this subject was investigated herein. The key words "Mozart" and "Mozart's death" were searched in PubMed as well as the libraries of universities. The main source was the archive and website of Internationale Stiftung MOZARTEUM/Salzburg (www.mozarteum.at) and the cranium stored in the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum in Salzburg/Austria. The linear fracture of the cranium is important, since it shows the neurosurgical aspect of the early death of Mozart. Mozart's disease was most likely a neurotraumatologic one. His fracture likely occurred several months before his death, as evidenced by signs of healing. Intense headaches and declining musical performance in his last year may have been influenced by intracranial hemorrhage induced by the linear fracture. His final disease therefore may have been chronic postconcussion syndrome depending on chronic calcified epidural hematoma.