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Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 - April 3, 1897) was a German composer of classical music. He was seen by many as the natural successor to Ludwig van Beethoven. Today he is widely seen as one of the great composers of the 19th century.

Brahms was born in Hamburg. His father, who gave him his first music lessons, was a double bassist. Brahms showed early promise on the piano and helped to supplement the family income by playing the piano in restaurants, bars and brothels, as well as teaching. He gave a few public concerts, but did not become well known (although in later life he gave the premieres of both his Piano Concerto No. 1[?] in 1859 and his Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1881).

He also began to compose, but his efforts did not receive much attention until he went on a concert tour with Eduard Remenyi[?] in 1853. On this tour he met Joseph Joachim[?], Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann, with whom he became particularly close.

In 1862 he settled for good in Vienna and began to concentrate fully on composing. He found great success in this field. In 1876, he finally completed his first symphony, on which he had worked for many years. It was described by the conductor Hans von Bülow[?] as "Beethoven's tenth symphony" and is often called that today.

Brahms wrote four symphonies in all, as well as two piano concertos, a violin concerto, and many pieces of chamber music and vocal music. He died in Vienna from liver cancer.

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