Mozart did not come from nowhere. He was the product of a society that was avid for music on every level, that believed in the possibility of an all-encompassing musical genius. The society we live in now believes otherwise; we divide music into subcultures and subgenres, we separate classical music from popular music, we locate genius in the past. Today, a young man with Mozart's abilities would very likely labor in obscurity, and perhaps give up in frustration. As I once wrote, if Mozart were alive today, he'd be dead. If you really want to celebrate Mozart's world, Mozart's culture, Mozart's life, you would ignore the man himself and listen to music by a living composer. If you're not in the habit of doing so, I'd urge you to pay a little heed to modern composition over the next few days or weeks. Buy a CD of a contemporary classic (say, Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, Ligeti's Lontano, Adams's Harmonielehre, Pärt's Tabula Rasa, Gubaidulina's Offertorium, or, for the radical-minded, Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting in a Room or Lachenmann's Schwankungen am Rand). Better, get out of the technobubble and patronize a live concert: Juilliard's Focus! or the Golijov festival here in New York, the LAPhil's upcoming Minimalist Jukebox, a Berkeley Symphony premiere, a Boston Modern Orchestra Project concert, etc. Celebrate Mozart another time, when he's not being rammed down your throat. And, oh yeah, happy birthday, Wolfie. You don't look a day over 175.
— Alex Ross