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Beethoven heard him play in 1821 and made a prophetic entry in one of his conversation books: "Mendelssohn - 12 years old- promises much."
- Mendelssohn was born into a prosperous middle-class family that played host to many distinguished guests.
- By the time Felix was 12, he had already produced four operas, 12 string symphonies and a large quantity of chamber and piano music.
- If Mendelssohn's early progress had been nothing short of phenomenal, no one could have predicted what was shortly to follow: an astonishingly accomplished String Octet in 1825 and, only a year later, the magical overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, arguably two of the most stunning displays of youthful talent in western music.
- During the summer of 1834 Mendelssohn was appointed music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
- In 1837 he married Cecile Jeanrenaud. It was an inspired partnership, one which - to Felix's great relief - gained the approval of Fanny and produced no fewer than five children.
- In 1842 Felix enjoyed his first personal contact with the young Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert. In gratitude, he dedicated his ‘Scottish’ Symphony to the Queen.
- British people quickly took Felix Mendelssohn into their hearts. Indeed, such was the 37-year-old Mendelssohn's impact in England that in 1846 he directed the first performance of his new oratorio, Elijah, as the chief attraction of the Birmingham Festival.
- In March 1847 Mendelssohn's sister Fanny died, prematurely dealing an incalculable emotional blow to the composer. He never fully recovered, and following a slight stroke died in November of the same year. Queen Victoria was distraught: "We were horrified, astounded and distressed to read in the papers of the death of Mendelssohn, the greatest musical genius since Mozart and the most amiable man."
Did you know?
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