Johannes Brahms

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Composer
QUICK FACTS
Date of Birth May 7, 1833
Place of Birth Hamburg, Germany
Date of Death Apr 3, 1897 (63)
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Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. His reputation and status as a composer are such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow. Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. He worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. An uncompromising perfectionist, Brahms destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished. Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator.

About Johannes Brahms

Virtuoso pianist and composer whose best-known pieces include "Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel" and the "Saint Anthony Variations." He has been referred to as one of the "Three Bs," alongside Bach and Beethoven. He was a notorious perfectionist and destroyed several of his own works.

Before Fame

He played music in brothels as a child to help keep his family afloat financially. He destroyed many of his early compositions because he was dissatisfied with their amateurish quality.

Achievement

He sought to fuse his musical works with both the purity of German compositions and the Romantic sensibilities of his era.

Family Life

He was the child of musician Johann Jakob Brahms and seamstress Johanna Henrika Christiane Nissen. His father was his first musical instructor.

Associations

He is often grouped by historians under the title the "Three Bs," alongside Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Information related to Johannes Brahms

  • German emigrants to Austria
  • Viennese composers
  • Honorary Members of the Royal Philharmonic Society
  • Musicians from Hamburg
  • German Romantic composers
  • Burials at the Vienna Central Cemetery
  • Composers for pipe organ
  • Composers for piano
  • Members of the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
  • Recipients of the Pour le Mérite (civil class)
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Latest information about Johannes Brahms updated on October 23, 2020.

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