Johannes Brahms

(1833–1897)

Johannes Brahms

Anecdote 1...

As a celebrated composer, Brahms conducted his two piano concertos in Berlin and attended a dinner given for him. His host proposed a toast to “the most famous composer.” Brahms, seeing what was coming, interposed hastily, “Quite right: here’s to Mozart!” and clinked glasses all around.

Quote-worthy...

A symphony is no joke.

~Sir Johannes Brahms

Anecdote 2...

A great wine connoisseur invited Brahms to dinner and in his honor brought out some of his choicest bottles. “This is the Brahms of my cellar,” he announced to the company as wine from a venerable bottle was poured into the composer’s glass. Brahms scrutinized the wine closely, inhaled its bouquet, took a sip, and then put down his glass without comment.

“How do you like it?” anxiously asked the host.

“Better bring out your Beethoven,” murmured Brahms.

Biographical Note: 

Johannes Brahms was a German composer. As a young man Brahms came to the attention of violinist Joachim, Liszt, and the Schumanns, who helped him find a footing in the musical world. In 1863 Brahms settled in Vienna. A prolific composer of orchestral and chamber music, he is noted for lyrical melody and harmonic inventiveness. He also wrote many songs and choral works, including “A German Requiem” (1868) and the “Alto Rhapsody” (1869).