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Felix Mendelssohn

Lugwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was born in Hamburg, Germany on February 3rd, of 1809 and had the name of becoming one of the most successful musicians of the 19th century. The reason for this is because his young career showed no disappointments and delays that swarmed the other great Romantic composers’ reputation in his time. It has also been proven that his hard work and stress for him to be noticed for his performances and compositions that led to his death at the age of 38 because of a stroke, on November 4th, 1847.

He grew up in a wealthy, artistic, banking family in Berlin, Germany, with 2 sisters and 1 brother, and was surrounded with opportunity and privilege in his childhood. In 1816 his parents had decided to convert the Judaism religion towards the belief of Christianity because of social reasons in their German environment, which then went to the changing of their last name to Bartholdy.

It wasn’t long before all of the opportunity and privilege was revealed when 2 very talented and famous musicians came to teach Mendelssohn. Ludwig Berger, who he studied the piano with, and Zelter, who taught him theory and composition of being a composer. When he produced his first piece in 1820, he increased his attention and love for music as he proved he could accomplish sonatas, concertos, string symphonies, piano quartets and Singspiels to prove his mastery of “counterpoint and form”.

This started Mendelssohn’s dream of becoming a famous composer. Attempting to follow in the footsteps in the people he idolized, like the poetic Goethe, which he had met in 1821, Johann Sebastian Bach and the Schlegel translations of Shakespeare, which is similar to his “A Midsummer Night’s Dream op. 21″ (1826).

In early 1829, Mendelssohn also presented his gift of conducting as he directed a pioneering performance at Bachs’ “Matthew Passion” at the Berlin Singakademie. This was a gathering to help promote Bach’s music.

Mendelssohn then began a period of travel to perform and promote his music. His tour lasted from 1829-1835 and traveled to England, Scotland, Italy, Paris, London and Dusseldorf.

When he returned we he wedded himself to Cecile Jeanrenaud, to take on the responsibilites of having a family, on March 28, 1837. After his tour, in 1835, he then became administrator, music director and conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts. It was mentioned that he changed the course of music in the Leipzig for better quality music in a short time and in 1842 he was “founded” by the local Conservatory to be awarded the “standards of excellence” crown. Also, in a year before in 1841, he was named director of the Music Section of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.

In all conclusion, of the success that lays in the memory of Felix Mendelssohn, he lived a short, but intriquing life. He often used the expression, “Why live 1 life as a lamb, then live 1 day as a lion”, it is fairly obvious which 1 he had choosen to live.