Lilli Lehmann founded the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in 1916. At the beginning only private voice lessons were offered within the premises of the Mozarteum. In 1925 Willy Schweyda gave the first violin class. Classes in piano, composition, conducting and opera were added in 1929 thanks to the sponsorship of American Julian Freedman.

Between 1930–1937 the "Academy" was known as "Musical Summer Courses", from 1937 to 1940 as "The Mozarteum Summer Academy" for Music, Theatre and Dance, and between 1940 to 1944 as "Summer Academy for Foreigners at the Mozarteum". After 1945 Bernhard Paumgartner reorganized the classes once again, and since 1947 it bears the name "Mozarteum International Summer Academy". Throughout the years, the Summer Academy has steadily expanded its rich artistic offerings. In 2014, active and passive participants had the opportunity to learn about Alexander Technique, take part in violin, piano, flute , cello, organ, guitar, voice, percussion master classes and enjoy the concerts given by the students of the Academy.