Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist who, when young, earned a living playing in taverns frequented by prostitutes. He was later introduced to the great manic-depressive composer/pianist/writer Robert Schumann, who hailed Brahms a genius in an article titled "Neue Bahnen" ("New Paths") in a German music publication. Brahms went on to become one of the most important figures in classical music. The New World Symphony led by Marin Alsop, a rising star among conductors will perform, among other works, Academic Festival Overture, which Brahms composed after the University of Breslau conferred an honorary degree on him in 1879. The college professors expected a dark, complicated work; instead Brahms wrote a piece celebrating drinking and chasing women.
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