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I’m grateful for advances in neuroscience, and for many reasons glad that every day we know more about how the brain works. But for all the studies of left brains, right brains, and neuron networks, some things will remain mysteries, and there’s no way around it.

The composer Robert Fuchs was a contemporary of Johannes Brahms. Fuchs was famous as a teacher -- at the Vienna Conservatory his students included Mahler, Enescu, and Sibelius, to name just a few -- and he was known and admired throughout Europe for his own compositions. Like Brahms, he wrote symphonies, choral works, organ and piano pieces, and a huge catalogue of chamber music. But have you ever heard any of this music? I’d be more than a little surprised. But I’ll bet you’ve heard plenty of Brahms. Robert Fuchs and Johannes Brahms: one forgotten, one immortal. What did the one have that the other didn’t? That’s a question that neuroscience will never be able to answer.

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.