Brahms, Johannes

BORN 7 May 1833, Hamburg - DIED 3 Apr 1897, Wien: Karlsgasse 4
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 32 A, nummer 26)

Johannes Brahms was introduced to the public by Robert Schumann in 1853 when he was 20 years old. For several years he was music master to the prince of Lippe-Detmold.

In 1858 he ended his engagement with Agathe von Sieboldt after Clara Schumann visited them at Göttingen. Brahms had assisted Clara after her husband's death and there were emotional ties between them. When Clara saw the intimacy between him and Agathe she left without saying goodbye. Soon afterwards Brahms ended the engagement. In 1861 he fell in love with Clara's daughter Julie and he wrote a song for her, hinting on 'living in Vienna'. Clara and Julie didn't understand and Julie married an Italian nobleman.

After Stockhausen became conductor of the Singakademie in Hamburg instead of Brahms he left that city for Vienna. Between 1864 and 1869 he travelled and gave concerts and it was only in 1872 that Vienna became his home, although he lived near Heidelberg between 1874 and 1878. From 1878 onwards he solely worked as a composer.

In 1868 he had lost another love. He was piano teacher to the talented Elizabeh von Stockhausen but had to end the lessons because of his emotional involvement. She married the composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg, but they remained friends until her death in 1892 and Brahms always carried her picture until his death in 1897.

• Father: Brahms, Johann Jacob

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0/0/1850Johannes Brahms sends his compositions to Robert Schumann in vain. Robert and Calra Schumann were in Hamburg for concerts. The young Brahms sent a package with his compositions to their hotel room, but it was returned unopened. [Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert]
30/9/1853Clara and Robert Schumann meet Johannes Brahms. the 12-year old Marie Schumann was also present. [Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert]
28/10/1853Robert Schumann introduces Johannes Brahms to the public. Johannes Brahms had visited Schumann, who had listened to him playing. Schumann was impressed, called his wife Clara and told her that she would hear music like she had never heard it before. Schumann wrote an article in the Neue Zeitschrift Für Musik in which he introduced Brahms to the public. [Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert]
21/1/1854Robert and Clara Schumann give concerts in Hannover. They gave concerts from 21 January to 30 January. In Hannover they met Brams. [Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert]
25/4/1854Clara Schumann hears Liszt's "Piano sonata in B Minor" and strongly dislikes it. She received it on this day and it was dedicated to her husband Robert. Johannes Brahms played it for her and she strongly disliked it. The piece was performed in public in 1857 by Hans von Bülow and it would become both popular and influential. [Bülow, Hans von][Liszt, Franz][Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert]
6/1/1863Premiere of Brahm's "Piano Sonata 3" in Vienna. He played it himself. Richard Wagner was in the audience. [Wagner, Richard]
10/4/1868"German Requiem" by Johannes Brahms is performed at Bremen Cathedral. It was the first complete performance of this work. Joseph Joachim and his wife Amelia had joined their friend in Bremen. Amelia sang "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth" and Joseph played Schumann's "Abendlied". Afterwards Brahms and his friends, including the Joachims, Clara Schumann, Max Bruch and Albert Dietrich, gathered at the Rathskeller. [Joachim, Amalie][Joachim, Joseph][Schumann, Clara]
26/11/1868Another unlucky love for Johannes Brahms. He had already missed out twice and this time the talented Elisabeth von Stockhausen was his object of desire. He gave her piano lessons but soon he was unable to continue this because of his emotions. But Elisabeth married the composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg on 26 Nov 1868 in Dresden. She and Brahms were friends until her death in 1892 and Brahms would carry a small photograph of her until his own death. [Herzogenberg, Heinrich von][Stockhausen, Elisabeth von]
22/9/1869Julie Schumann marries and Brahms loses another love. He was in love with Julie Schumann, the daughter of Robert and Clara Schumann. He dedicated a composition to her and hinted at 'settling in Vienna'. Neither mother nor daughter understood what he meant and Julie married the Italian count Vittorio Amadeo Radicati di Marmorito. On the evening of her marriage Brahms showed Clara his "Alto Rhapsody" and declared that this was his song for her engagement. It contained the text "Ach, wer heilet die Schmerzen" (who will heal the pain) and this was the first sign for Clara of Brahms' interest in Julie. [Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Julie]
3/3/1870First public performance of Johannes Brahms' "Alto Rhapsody". The soloist was Pauline Viardot-Garcia. Although she had retired from singing, Brahms had persuaded her to sing the part. Ernst Naumann was the conductor. [Viardot-Garcia, Pauline]
26/6/1870Premiere of Wagner's "Die Walküre" at the Hoftheater in Munich. Wagner wanted to stage it in 1871, but Ludwig II of Bavaria was the legal owner of the piece and didn't want to wait. Wüllner was the conductor and Joachim, Brahms, Saint-Saëns and Liszt were in the audience. Wagner wasn't there and Ludwig also stayed away. He had decided to wait for the second performance so that he would be able to see "Das Rheingold", that would be staged again during the summer, and "Die Walküre" in the right order. [Bausewein, Kaspar][Joachim, Joseph][Liszt, Franz][Possart-Deinet, Anna von][Saint-Saëns, Camille][Vogl, Heinrich][Vogl, Therese][Wagner, Richard]
27/11/1871Clara Schumann and Julie von Asten play Brahms' "Ungarischen Tänze zu vier Händen" in Berlin [Schumann, Clara]
11/2/1900Premiere of Alexander Zemlinsky's "Frühlingsbegräbnis" at the Musikverein in Vienna. It was a cantata in memory of Johannes Brahms. At this occasion Zemlinsky met Alma Schindler for the first time. [Mahler, Alma][Zemlinsky, Alexander von]


The grave of Johannes Brahms at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (15 Aug 1995)


Statue of Johannes Brahms by Rudolf Weyr at the Ressel Park near the Karlskirche in Vienna.
Picture by Androom (26 Jan 1999)


Johannes Brahms memorial in Tutzing, Bavaria.
Picture by Androom (05 Sep 2014)


• Blunt, Wilfrid, The Dream King, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1973
Clara Schumann Chronology, Internet, 1996
• Wallace, Irving, Amy, Sylvia & Wallechinsk, David, Lijstenboek 2, 1983
Time Table of History, Xïphias, 1992
ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY. Part 1: The Man | Basia con fuoco
Julie von Asten – Wikipedia
1863 in music - Wikipedia
Alto Rhapsody - Wikipedia
Joseph Joachim - Wikipedia
Decoding the music masterpieces: Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor - ABC News
Clara Schumann Chronology

Brambach, Caspard Joseph

Published: 21 Jul 2007
Last update: 25 Apr 2022