I hope you’ll join me today in celebrating the birthday of Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg on February 3, 1809. By the time he was fourteen he had composed four operas, twelve sparkling string symphonies, and various other pieces, and by the time he was seventeen he had composed masterpieces of chamber music and orchestral music that will be played for as long as music is played anywhere.
But while still a teenager he had also translated major Latin works into German and had become an accomplished artist in pencil and watercolor. He was a brilliant pianist and excellent violinist and violist, and he revolutionized orchestral conducting. In addition to German and Latin he spoke English and Italian and made German translations from those languages, as well as from ancient Greek, and by all accounts he was just a terrifically nice guy. Felix Mendelssohn—a miraculous human being… and today’s his birthday.
A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.