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Felix Mendelssohn in 1829

Felix Mendelssohn (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period, who wrote symphonies, concertos, oratorios, piano music, and chamber music. His best-known works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, his mature Violin Concerto, his String Octet, and his Songs Without Words for solo piano. He was born into a prominent Jewish family in Berlin, baptised as a Reformed Christian at age seven, and recognised early as a musical prodigy. Mendelssohn revived interest in Bach's music, notably with a performance of the St Matthew Passion in 1829. He enjoyed success in Germany and in his travels throughout Europe as a composer, conductor and soloist. Many of his major works premiered during his ten visits to Britain. He founded the Leipzig Conservatory, which became a bastion of his rather conservative tastes. After a long period of relative denigration, he is among the most popular romantic composers. (Full article...)