Brahms was born in a slum district of Hamburg. He was the son of a musician who in cafes and played double bass , Horn and a dressmaker. His parents soon saw his great musical talents and he got Piano lessons at the age of seven years by Otto Friedrich Cossel. When he was ten years old, he played the piano part in the piano Quintet op. 16 by Ludwig van Beethoven. This gig was attended by an American impresario, which offered a lot of money for a tour in the United States of this child prodigy. Under pressure from his piano teacher, who was afraid that the talent would develop itself by not further this plan, not the tour went by. Johannes Eduard Marxsen, thereupon free lesson got the best piano teacher of Hamburg.
Brahms had to, when he was about thirteen years was, in order to support his parents in their ongoing struggle against poverty, popular music play in pubs and brothels.Meanwhile he read poetry of Hölderlin and Novalis , among others to escape from work that stood against him. In this period he composed and arranged music for piano-four hands popular salon: the way in which time to light music performed in living rooms to be able to bring.
At the age of fifteen began to collect folk songs and Brahms to edit, and in 1851, he released his first official work, the Scherzo in e flat minor (op. 4). Shortly afterwards followed his piano sonatas in C (op. 1) and in f sharp minor (op. 2): works that Robert Schumann would later qualify as "veiled symphonies '.Johannes Brahms by the end of his life
Brahms In 1853 went along with the Hungarian violinist Eduard Reményi on tour, taking in Düsseldorf Robert Schumann and his wife Clara met. Thanks to the favourable criticism of the very influential Robert Schumann was Brahms ' name. Brahms made near that Schumann wanted to make an end to his life by throwing himself in the Rhine. Schumann was in a clinic and died in 1856. Brahms remained intimate friends with Clara Schumann until her death in 1896.
Brahms conducted much, mainly his own music, but also Bach's music and choral music. In the years 1856 to 1858 , he worked in Detmold to the princely court theater. There he conducted the choir and sometimes also the Orchestra. In that period he gave piano lessons to Princess Friederike, a sister of Prince Leopold III, Prince of Lippe. He was in Vienna in 1863 Director of the Singakademie and gave concerts with works of Bach, Schumann, Beethoven and folk songs in their own operation.
In 1860 Brahms signed a manifesto against the Nieuwduitse music, a movement which among others Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner were the great figures. Brahms and had also made themselves not loved by the modernists. He felt more at home in the classical tradition of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. In 1862 he moved toVienna.
After his mother's death in 1866, an event that affected him greatly, he composed "Ein deutsches Requiem", an oratorio about suffering and consolation. For this gigantic piece of music he made use of texts in the translation of Martin Luther of the Bible, rather than the usual Latin mass for the dead. He had the piece in retrospect rather like to mention the "Requiem of the man". Parts of "Ein deutsches Requiem" were on Good Friday in 1868 with great success Bremenstaged in the Lutheran Cathedral. The complete works of seven parts went under the direction of Carl Reinecke on 18 February 1869 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. After Brahms ' "Ein deutsches Requiem" composed inter alia "Rinaldo", another great piece for chorus and Orchestra, based on texts by Goethe.
In 1876 he completed his first Symphony, a composition which he had worked for over twenty years. This Symphony in Vienna got the nickname "Beethoven's tenth". Although Brahms was flattering to be seen as the heir to Beethoven, he began later still bothersome way.
On symphonic area was Brahms in Vienna opposite Anton Bruckner asked. Bruckner represented according to the ' Brahmsianen ' (wrongly) the ' Wagnerian ' Symphony.Brahms was by the Bruckneraanhangers (among others Hugo Wolfand Gustav Mahler ) labeled as conservative. Both musicians differed from each other in all areas (except that they had the same favorite dish). Both masters were inadvertently exposed to each other's opponents. Incidentally, suffered fewer than Brahms under Bruckner. In his other three symphonies knew Brahms a much more personal style. These works came in much shorter time than his Eagle.
Brahms for his successes in good ones do, but lived always easy. He donated money to promising musicians, such as Antonín Dvořák, and supported his family and Clara Schumann. Partly due to his blunt way of performing Brahms made a lot of enemies, but he also had many friends.
Although Brahms little was ill, Mitchell Margolis concluded in an article from 2000 in the American scientific medical journal Chest that Brahms during his life to obstructive sleep apnea suffering.  
He died, 63 years old, on 3 april 1897 to liver cancer in Vienna. His funeral was a great event. On the route to the cemetery were thousands of people. The procession was flanked by flags and torches. The coffin was followed by many friends, among whom Antonín Dvořák and Alice Barbi. The building of the Wiener Musikverein was hung with black cloths. Brahms ' composition "Fahr wohl" was performed by the Singverein.The final resting place of the composer is close to that of Beethoven and Schubert. Also Hamburg, his hometown, grieved: hung at half mast the flags there during the funeral.
Brahms ' oeuvre is very extensive, although much of it by the perfectionist composer itself is destroyed. He wrote four symphonies, two piano concertos and two serenades (see Concerto for Piano No.1 and Piano Concerto No. 2), a Violin Concerto and a Double Concerto for violin and cello, about 330 songs, Chamber music (sonatas for violin, cello and clarinet; string quartets, quintets and sextets;--music for piano solo), and he edited music by Handel, Schubert and Bach.
Although he was one of the last of the great romantics, he was strongly oriented on the classical style of the First Viennese School: Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. He raved about with Beethoven and Bach, believed in the conventional form and structure and was an opponent of the ' rebellious ' Wagner and Liszt, and what they called ' the music of the future '. Later in life he ventured to escape the classical conventions that he himself had adhered to and ratified with his compositions. As the finale of the Fourth Symphony was given the form of a chaconne, taken from an (early) Cantata composed by J.S. Bach. This came to him out of own circle on strong criticism.