Johannes Brahms ~ Composer of the Month

 

brahms[1]Johannes Brahms was born in the German city of Hamburg. His father was a musician who played several instruments, but never managed to earn much money. So when Johannes was young, he played the piano at inns and dance halls to help support his family.When Brahms was older, he toured as an accompanist, playing piano for a Hungarian violinist. That music — and the gypsy bands Brahms heard later on when he traveled to Hungary — inspired his Hungarian Dances, which were a hit with the public. He wrote 21 dances in all. The most famous one is the Hungarian Dance No. 5. Many people considered Brahms to be the successor to Beethoven. For a long time, he didn’t want to write a symphony, because he was afraid his work would not be as good as Beethoven’s. Brahms ended up writing four symphonies, plus pieces in every musical form except opera. You may know one of his most famous pieces, the Lullaby.
In fact, Brahms became so famous, he is now known as one of the 3 B’s — Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms — of classical music. (Classicsforkids.com)

Composer of the Month: Clara Schumann

Yes! there are women composers! So, why do the text/piano books not mention them? Well, they do mention them, but very briefly.

Clara Schumann lived during the 19th century and was called “the high priestess of music” giving her first complete piano recital at the age of 11 and enjoying 61 years of concert life.

“Throughout her life, Clara was well-known as a piano soloist, gaining fame for her technical proficiencies, sensitive interpretations of musical works and her ability to express the composer’s intent in the music. During her lifetime, she premiered pieces by Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms and her husband, Robert Schumann. A composer herself, Clara wrote 66 pieces, including works for piano and orchestra, solo piano and even cadenzas for piano concertos already written by Beethoven and Mozart! Widely respected for her musical opinions, both Clara’s husband and Brahms sought her advice and guidance when writing music.” DSO

Enjoy a performance of her Romanza 1, Op. 11 found on YouTube.