Johannes Brahms

   Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Do you remember the words "Lullaby and goodnigth, with roses bedlight..." that might have been sung to you at bedtime when you were small? The words are from the lovely lullaby composed by Johannes Brahms. He wrote many kinds of music, including songs, dances, concertos, chamber music for small groups of violins, violas, and cellos, as well as symphonies for orchestra.
Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany. His father, a musician, gave Johannes his first music lessons. The boy learned to play the piano so well that he gave his first public concert at age 14. He often played in restaurants to earn money for his family. He went on a concert tour of Germany at 20 as accompanist to a violinist. While on the tour, Brahms met the famous romantic composer, Robert Schumann, and his wife, Clara, a well-known pianist. The Schumanns realized Brahms' musi­cal genius, and quickly announced their new "discovery." Brahms and the Schumanns became lifelong friends. Many of the lullabies Brahms wrote were for the Schu­mann children. He never married.
   Brahms lived in Vienna, Austria, during the last 24 years of his life. He was a perfectionist and worked on his first symphony for ten years. He wrote four symphonies, and each of them is performed today. His German Requiem is one of the greatest choral works. Brahms is the third of the famous "three B's"—Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.