Composer Profile: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Johannes Brahms

A recent concert in Whanganui featuring Brahms’ Piano Concerto Number 2 inspired me to find out more about ‘the last of the great Romantics’, a man most famous for his eponymous Lullaby. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, to a struggling (to the point of impoverishment) musician, Johann Jakob Brahms, and his much older wife, Johanna. Brahms’ talent was recognisable from an early age although his father refused to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Mozart and Mendelssohn by taking his child prodigy on tour. Instead, by the age of 13, Brahms was supplementing the family income with money earned by playing the piano in taverns, restaurants, and the like. Continue reading “Composer Profile: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)”

Local Culture: Winter Brahms Concert

Brahms Whanganui posterUntil I started The Culture Project, I honestly had no idea that my town was such a cultural hub. It turns out that in addition to having an opera festival, and the annual Artists Open Studios, and Shakespeare in Schools, and an excellent community choir (Schola Sacra), we also have a small local orchestra, which aims to hold three concerts a year. Their most recent concert, held late last month, featured pianist Matthew Yu, a former Whanganui resident who is now building a career as a nationally-recognised musician. Continue reading “Local Culture: Winter Brahms Concert”