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Johannes Brahms. By Mylee Davis. May 7 1833- April 3 1897 German Composer Romantic period Pianist and Conductor. Parents Johann Jakob Brahms (1806–72 ) Johanna Henrika Christiane Nissen (1789–1865 ) First music lessons were given by his father.

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Johannes Brahms

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johannes brahms

Johannes Brahms

By Mylee Davis


May 7 1833- April 3 1897

  • German Composer
  • Romantic period
  • Pianist and Conductor


    • Johann Jakob Brahms (1806–72)
    • Johanna Henrika Christiane Nissen (1789–1865)
  • First music lessons were given by his father.
  • Played piano in a dance hall to help support his family at a very young age.
  • Grew up in poverty
brahms and schumann

Schumann, amazed by the 20-year-old's talent, published an article entitled "NeueBahnen" (New Paths) in the 28 October 1853 issue of the journal NeueZeitschriftfürMusik alerting the public to the young man, who, he claimed, was "destined to give ideal expression to the times.“

  • He became very attached to Schumann's wife, the composer and pianist Clara, fourteen years his senior, with whom he would carry on a lifelong, emotionally passionate relationship. 
  •  After Schumann's attempted suicide and subsequent confinement in a mental sanatorium near Bonn in February 1854, Brahms was the main intercessor between Clara and her husband, and found himself virtually head of the household.
Brahms and Schumann

When Brahms was 7 years old, he began taking piano lessons under Otto Friedrich Willibald Cossel. 

  •  He would continue his studies under Eduard Marxen, from whom he received instruction on theory and composition. 
  • Brahms admired the works of Schubertand Beethoven.

Composed for:

    • Piano
    • Chamber Ensembles
    • Voice
    • Chorus
    • Symphony Orchestra
  • Premiered some of his own pieces
important dates

1854     Accepts position as Director of Court Concerts and Choral Society for the Prince ofLippe-Detmold. In February, Robert Schumann has a breakdown, and Brahms returns toDüsseldorf

  • 1864     Resigns his post as Director of the Singakademie and in mid-June returns to Hamburg for a visit
  • 1875     18 April: Resigns as conductor of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. In the summer travels as previous summer, and develops his friendship with poet Gottfried Keller
  • 1885     October in Meinigen for the rehearsal of his Fourth Symphony. Immediately after takes a tour through Germany and the Netherlands
  • 1889    Brahms appointed a "Freeman of Hamburg". From this year onward, spends his summers in Bad Ischl
  • 1896     21 May: Clara Schumann dies in Bonn. In September Brahms goes to Karlsbad for treatment
Important Dates
major works

4 Symphponies, variations, overtures

  • 4 concertos (2 piano, 1 violin, 1 double concerto)
  • Chamber Music
    • Including string quartets and quintets
  • Duo sonatas
  • Piano music
    • Including sonatas, character pieces, dances, variations
  • Choral music
  • Lieder
Major Works
clara schumann

Clara’s death greatly affected Brahms, who was already affected with cancer.

  • He died ten moths after.
  • 1896- Her decline in health gave rise to his Four Serious Songs.
Clara Schumann
symphony no 3 in f major

Goal: To prove that new and important things could still be said in the tradition of the Classical masters.

  • Written in 1833- Brahms was 50 years old
Symphony No. 3 in F Major
brahms lullaby

  • The Lullaby was first sung by Brahms's friend, Bertha Faber, as the piece had been written to celebrate the birth of her son.
  • The lullaby's melody is one of the most famous and recognizable in the world, used by countless parents to sing their babies to sleep.
Brahms Lullaby
interesting facts

Brahms was a voracious reader; his collection of books are now stored at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.

  • Brahms never married. 
  • He wrote his "Eleven Chorale Preludes" for the organ while he was ill.
  • He is buried at the Central Cemetery in Vienna, where he was laid to rest next toBeethoven and Schubert.
Interesting Facts
the later years

In 1890, the 57-year-old Brahms resolved to give up composing. 

  • He was unable to abide by his decision, and in the years before his death he produced a number of acknowledged masterpieces.
  • While completing the Op. 121 songs, Brahms developed cancer (sources differ on whether this was of the liver or pancreas).
The Later Years
work cited

  • Forney , Kristine. The Enjoyment of Music. 11. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. 247. Print.
Work Cited