Felix Mendelssohn
1809-1847
Born into a well-to-do family in Hamburg, this extravagantly precocious genius mastered all classical forms early in life. His music is fluent, lyrical, immaculately constructed and is as neo-classical as it is Romantic. Felix Mendelssohn was possibly the youngest composer ever—including Mozart—to show mastery at an early age. His Octet for Strings and Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream date from ages 16 and 17 respectively. Because of its poise and lack of rhetoric, unbridled passion and full Romantic fervor, his music fell from grace after his early death but today has enjoyed a major comeback. From an early age he composed many chamber works ranging from duo sonatas, through piano trios and string quartets, to the splendors of his aforementioned Octet.