Johannes Brahms

Fun Facts

  • Brahms was fond of the outdoors, and frequently went for long walks in the woods.

  • Stubborn and uncompromising, Brahms was known to be brusque and sarcastic with adults. With children, he showed a softer side, often handing out penny candy to kids he encountered in his neighborhood in Vienna. 

  • A perfectionist, Brahms often destroyed pieces he deemed unworthy, including most of his early compositions and over 20 string quartets.

  • Brahms was very close to Robert and Clara Schumann; they considered him part of their family.

  • Though Brahms never married, he was involved in several romances.

  • As a youngster, Brahms was an avid reader, fascinated by folk tales, medieval legends, and other fiction. This enthusiasm for literature remained with him throughout his life.

  • While in his teens, Brahms gave music lessons and played the piano in taverns and local dance halls to help his family financially.

  • When Brahms was six years old, he created his own method of writing music in order to get the melodies he created on paper.

  • A shrewd investor, Brahms was successful in the stock market.

  • Brahms has the most famous beard in all of classical music.

  • Brahms was the childhood piano teacher of the film composer, Max Steiner.

  • In his fifties, Brahms decided to retire from composing; however, clearly unable to stop his creativity, he produced some incredible late-period works, especially for the clarinet.

  • Brahms' stature as a composer is cemented by his inclusion among the "Three B's" -- Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.

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Fun Facts

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