The Intellectual Worlds of Johannes Brahms


The music of Johannes Brahms holds a prized place in the Western classical canon. Treated as the culmination of a compositional tradition that extends from Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert through the end of the nineteenth century, Brahms’s music has been portrayed as timeless, universal, and “absolute.” As a representative of the concert hall establishment, Brahms also provides a solid foundation upon which composers, theorists, historians, philosophers, and poets have built new edifices in the twentieth century. Using the date 1897 as a pivot point, “The Intellectual Worlds of Johannes Brahms” considers Brahms and his music from both of these perspectives—contextualizing it in the literary, political, and philosophical worlds in which Brahms lived as well as considering the new intellectual worlds that have grown up around Brahms and his music since his death.

Friday, February 1, 1:00–2:00: Lunchtime Recital, Winifred Smith Hall

Brahms, Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 78, Brahms, Sonata for Cello and Piano in F major, Op. 99, Haroutune Bedelian, Violin, Sarah Koo, Cello, Lorna Griffitt, Piano

Keynote Lecture No. 1: Julian Horton | 5.30–6.30, Winifred Smith Hall

Keynote Lecture No. 1: Professor Julian Horton (Durham University, UK), "Brahms and the Theory of Romantic Form,"

Saturday February 2

Keynote Lecture No. 2: Natasha Loges | 5.45–6.45, Winifred Smith Hall

Dr Natasha Loges (Royal College of Music, London), "Femininity, Fragments and Fingers: Reconstructing Brahms's Intellectual World," Saturday 2 February at 5.45pm at Winifred Smith Hall

Full event and conference information:

Event Details

  • When: Friday, February 1, 1-2 p.m. Recital and 5:30-6:30 p.m., Keynote Lecture; Saturday, February 2, 5:45-6:45 p.m. Keynote Lecture
  • Where: Winifred Smith Hall, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
  • Organizer: Nicole E. Grimes (email)
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