Mendelssohn is one of the world’s best-loved composers. His greatest music—The Hebrides, the Violin Concerto, the ‘Italian’ Symphony—is a cornerstone of the classical repertoire, while the ‘Wedding March’ from his incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been the soundtrack to the happiest moments of millions of lives. The most astonishing child genius in the history of music, Mendelssohn was also an international celebrity, his company sought by the leading figures of his time, from Goethe to Queen Victoria. Widely regarded, in the last years of his tragically short life, as the world’s greatest living composer, Mendelssohn has survived the assaults of such powerful detractors as Wagner, George Bernard Shaw and the cultural ideologues of Nazi Germany to remain, today as for his contemporaries, the creator of some of the freshest and most inspiring music ever written.
About the Author
Stephen Johnson has written regularly for The Independent and The Guardian, and was Chief Music Critic of The Scotsman (1998–9). He has also broadcast frequently for BBC Radios 3 and 4 and for the BBC World Service, including a series of fourteen programmes about the music of Bruckner for the centenary of the composer’s death (1996). He is the author of Bruckner Remembered (Faber 1998), a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Conducting (CUP 2004), and a regular presenter for Radio 3’s Discovering Music. In 2003 Stephen was voted Amazon.com Classical Music Writer of the Year.