22 Influential Women You Probably Didn't Learn About in School

Victoria Woodhull, Althea Gibson, Hypatia
Victoria Woodhull, Althea Gibson, Hypatia / Victoria Woodhull, Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images // Althea Gibson, AFP/AFP via Getty Images // Hypatia, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
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9. Maria Anna Mozart

Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anna Maria Mozart
Leopold Mozart with Wolfgang Amadeus and Anna Maria / Imagno/GettyImages

Was Wolfgang really the most talented musician in the Mozart family? Some historians think that honor might actually belong to Maria Anna Mozart, the gifted pianist and elder sister of the celebrated Wolfgang Mozart. It was Maria who father Leopold crowed about in letters, dubbing her “one of the most skillful players in Europe” at the tender age of 12. Later, she toured with Wolfgang, and many Mozart historians theorize that their time together could have fed Wolfgang’s talent, inspiring him or perhaps even igniting a bit of sibling rivalry.

Despite her abilities, Leopold insisted she stop touring at age 18. Wolfgang went on to play at concert halls and in front of royalty, garnering widespread acclaim for music we still hum today like "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" and the pieces from his opera The Magic Flute. Meanwhile, Maria composed music primarily for her own amusement; all of her compositions have been lost to time.