Item AB/179 - Photograph of Johannes Brahms

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GB GB1179 AB-AB/179

Title

Photograph of Johannes Brahms

Date(s)

  • c1891 (Creation)

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1 item

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(1833-1897)

Biographical history

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Holstein into a Lutheran family, he studied the piano, violin and cello as a child before pursuing a career as a musician in Hamburg, and he started composing at an early age also. In 1847 Brahms made his first public appearance as a solo pianist in Hamburg, playing a fantasy by Sigismund Thalberg. Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, voice, and chorus. He premiered many of his own works, and his first symphony, Op. 68, appeared in 1876, though it had been begun in the early 1860s. He worked with leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. He spent much of his professional life in Vienna, and is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music. Brahms has been considered both a traditionalist and an innovator, by his contemporaries and by later writers. While some contemporaries found his music to be overly academic, his contribution and craftsmanship were admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. In the summer of 1896 Brahms was diagnosed with jaundice, and later in the year with liver cancer. His last public appearance was on 7 March 1897 and he died on 3 April 1897, in Vienna, aged 63. 

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On the back, Brahms written his best wishes to the Brodskys for their journey from Hamburg to New York; he looks forward to meeting them again.

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Open

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