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Photograph c. 1900

Julius Otto Grimm (March 6, 1827 in Pernau, Livonia, now Pärnu, Estonia – December 7, 1903 in Münster) was a composer, conductor and musician of Westphalia. He is best remembered today as one of the best friends of Johannes Brahms, whom he met in Leipzig in 1853.[1]


After studying philology and philosophy at the University of Tartu (then the University of Dorpat), concluding his exams in 1848, he began his career and avocation as tutor in Saint Petersburg. At this time he began publishing his first compositions. He also pursued further studies in Dresden from 1851/2.

In 1855, he took an appointment as Professor of Music and Choral Conductor in Göttingen. Five years later, in 1860 he accepted the post of conductor of the Musikverein (Music Association) of Münster. During his 40 years of activity in Münster he received many honors and appointments.[2] He received an honorary doctorate in 1897.[3]

At his death among his papers were found "hundreds of letters from Madame Schumann, Brahms and Dr. Joachim", several of Brahms' manuscripts (presumably) given as gifts, including that of the piano sonata no. 1 op. 1, a song from op. 3, and Brahms' Missa Canonica, an unfinished mass material from which went into the motets op. 74 (and which has been recorded).[4]

His compositions include a violin sonata in A major, three suites,[3] and a symphony in D minor, his opus 19, published in 1875.[5] One of Grimm's suites, his opus 10 in canon form, is given positive mention and described in some detail in a review (of a performance by the Boston Symphony under Theodore Thomas, in March 1869) in John Sullivan Dwight's journal.[6]


  1. ^ Avins, Styra (1997). Johannes Brahms: Life and Letters. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 36. ISBN 0-19-924773-0. OCLC 36316001.
  2. ^ Werra, Monika (1995). Franz-Josef Jakobi (ed.). "Stadtgesellschaft im Wandel. Untersuchungen zur Sozialgeschichte Münsters im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert" (in German). Münster: 357–394.
  3. ^ a b Baker, Theodore; Remy, Alfred (1919). Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Music and Musicians (3rd ed.). New York: Schirmer. p. 339. OCLC 752566. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  4. ^ "Occasional Notes". The Musical Times. Novello. 47 (757): 174–8, especially 175. March 1, 1906. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  5. ^ Frisch, Walter. Brahms: The Four Symphonies. pp. 7–10.
  6. ^ Dwight, John Sullivan (1871-published journal). Dwight's Journal of Music: A Paper of Art and Literature, volumes 29-30, 1869-71 at Google Books. Houghton, Mifflin. 29(1): 6 (March 27, 1869).

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