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Brahms, Johannes#

b. Hamburg (Germany), May 7, 1833, d. Vienna, April 3, 1897, composer; came from a lower middle-class background (his father was a musician), child prodigy. Met C. and R. Schumann in 1853 (maintained a lifelong close friendship with C. Schumann). After some years of travel B. moved to Vienna, temporarily in 1862, in 1878 permanently. Vienna became like a second home along with other Austrian towns such as Bad Ischl, Poertschach and Muerzzuschlag. In 1862 became manager of the Vienna Singers' Academy and 1872-1875 conducted the concerts of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien. Although he tried to obtain steady employment several times, he finally considered his independence too precious. B. is said to have perfected the style of the Viennese Classicism and was regarded as the long-awaited artist who could finally emulate and develop the style of L. van Beethoven, the model for many 19th century composers; of special importance are B.'s chamber music and his lieder. Among his closest friends were T. Billroth, E. Hanslick and M. Kalbeck.

Works#

4 symphonies, 2 serenades, 4 concertos, vocal pieces with orchestra, organ music, choral music, lieder, chamber music.

Literature#

M. Kalbeck, Johannes Brahms, 4 vols., 1915; Brahms Briefwechsel, 16 vols., 1906ff., ed. by the Brahms society; W. Rehberg, Johannes Brahms, 1948; F. Grasberger, Johannes Brahms, 1952; H. Becker, Brahms, 1993; C. M. Schmidt, Reclams Musikfuehrer Johannes Brahms, 1994.