Johannes Brahms the conductor: Historical context, chronology, and critical reception

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Conducting

First Committee Member

Jo-Michael Scheibe - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Donald T. Oglesby - Committee Member


The purpose of this study was to examine the circumstances surrounding Johannes Brahms as a conductor. While many studies, books and articles have discussed his compositional processes and individual works, none have focused their attention on conducting in his artistic life. A premise of this study was that an examination of Brahms' experiences as a conductor and the compilation of historical evidence into a single document would lead to a better understanding of Brahms as a musician.The first chapter contains information pertaining to nineteenth-century definitions of conducting, with specific concentration on German conductors. The second chapter is a compilation of historical details surrounding Brahms' activities as a conductor. The third chapter is a chronological listing, with locations and repertoire, of Brahms' specific conducting appearances. The fourth chapter discusses Brahms' conducting demeanor, style, and technique as reported by musicians, critics in the press, and his close circle of friends. The chapter concludes with numerous translations of contemporary German language concert reviews.The Appendix lists Brahms' works by Opus number.


Biography; Music

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