Johannes Brahms


DATES

Born May 7, 1833 in Hamburg, Germany 
Died April 3, 1897 in Vienna, Austria


NATIONALITY

German


STYLE/PERIOD

Romantic 1820-1910
 

FAMOUS WORKS

Double Concerto for violin and cello, Liebeslieder Waltzes, and Academic Festival Overture


BIO

Brahms grew up in the poorest slums of Hamburg, Germany, surrounded by crime and disease. At an early age he helped to support his family by playing the piano in dance halls. His father, a bass player, recognized his son's musical talent and encouraged him to continue his musical studies.

Aside from his music, one of the most well-known things about Brahms was his lifelong friendship with Clara Schumann, wife of composer Robert Schumann. He sought both musical and personal advice from her for the forty-three years that they were acquainted.

Brahms was one of the few composers who was so successful that he did not have to teach or take other jobs to make a living. But many times he paid more attention to his writing than he did to his appearance. He often forgot to attach his suspenders, and when he conducted he would have to grab his pants to keep them from falling down.