In 1841, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, a group of middle-class citizens founded the Cathedral Music Association and the Mozarteum. With this they intended to give added momentum to musical life in Salzburg by organizing concerts, and also they wanted to ensure that there were enough young instrumentalists for the church services in Salzburg Cathedral.  In 1870 the International Mozarteum Foundation was founded to encourage young talented musicians, and in 1881 it became the Mozarteum Public Music School.  

In 1914 the Mozarteum was recognized as a Conservatory under public law; in 1922 it was nationalized for financial reasons, and in 1939 it was transformed into the Reichshochschule Mozarteum.  At the end of the Second World War the Mozarteum was temporarily continued under the title ‘Music High School’. In 1953 the Music High School became an academy and from 1970 it was known as the Mozarteum Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Salzburg.  In 1998, as a result of the reform of Austrian universities, the former academy of music became the now renowned University Mozarteum Salzburg.