Brahms Meets the Moderns

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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