Brahms was a German composer writing at the end of the Romantic era. Instead of writing music which sounded new and daring, like his rivals Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt, Brahms wrote in a more traditional style, though his music was fuller and richer than anything which had preceded it.
Rising out of poverty as a child, Brahms became friends with some of the most important musicians of the time, among them the violinist Joseph Joachim and the composer/pianists (who were also husband and wife), Clara and Robert Schumann. Brahms was especially close with Clara after her husband, Robert, died.
Brahms was fortunate to be admired by many devoted concert goers during his lifetime. After he died of cancer in Vienna, his funeral was attended by thousands of admirers from all over Europe.
Brahms wrote only four symphonies, but they are all substantial works using a large orchestra. His other major compositions include his Hungarian Rhapsodies, and many German songs.
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