Johannes Brahms

1833 - 1897



German composer Johannes Brahms was born on May 7th 1833 in Hamburg to a Lutheran family. His popularity and influence are both significant and he is often grouped with J.S. Bach and Beethoven as one of the ‘Three Bs’. His works are often seen as an impressive balance of traditional and innovative. His evince the roots of Baroque and Classical structures and compositional techniques and a masterful grasp of counterpoint. He is alleged to have aimed to honour the ‘purity’ of these ‘German’ structures and bring them into the Romantic idiom, whilst also forging new approaches towards harmony and melody. Whilst some have criticised Brahms’ works as too academic, their comments have been opposed by some of the most significant composers of the twentieth century. The beautifully formed and constructed nature of Brahms’ works can be seen as the starting point and inspiration to an entire generation of composers.