Born to poor parents in Hamburg, Germany, Brahms’s first music lessons come from his father who played the double bass. Known as a prodigy of the piano at nine, he quickly started to study seriously and began to compose. Incredibly, at fifteen he gave a public concert and by the time he turned twenty, he had composed piano pieces that are still played today. Moreover, after he taught at Dusseldorf for some time, he became attached to the court of Lippe-Detmold in which he settled until 1860. Constantly composing, he again resided in Hamburg after 1860. For the first time, he visited Vienna in 1862 and remained there. He spent increasingly more of his time in composition during the last twenty years of his life. Furthermore, he went on tours to play and conduct his own compositions, and received increasing honors and popularity. Brahms never married and also never left the continent of Europe, refusing to even visit England when Cambridge University desired to grant him an honorary degree. He was a humorous, gruff and a rather disorderly man, and by the 1890’s, he had become one of the most distinguished citizens of Vienna. (Weinstock 457).
Brahms venerated Beethoven, possible more than other Romantic composers did. His works contain wh...
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In 1896, he attended the funeral of his friend Clara Schumann who he had known since 1853. On his return, he was seriously ill and died a year later. Generations later, his music and name may still provoke argument in musical circles. However, there can be utterly no doubt that he is included in the first dozen composers of all music history (Weinstock 456). Part of Johannes Brahms’s unique history include the story of his life, his influences, and his exceptional music. Today, his popularity is still continuing to grow and he will remain in music history as a remarkable and outstanding Romantic music composer.
Weinstock, Herbert. The World Book Encyclopedia. Illinois: Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1962. Print.
“Johannes Brahms”. http://www.pensym.org/SymphonySounds/SSOct2012.pdf. Peninsula Symphony, 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
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