Deaths and Obituaries

What caused Johannes Brahms death?

An image of  Johannes Brahms
Meta Description: “Explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding Johannes Brahms’ death. Learn about the factors that contributed to the passing of the renowned composer and musician / PHOTO COURTESY: Instagram

The Shocking Truth About What Caused Johannes Brahms’ Death

Johannes Brahms was one of the greatest composers of the 19th century.

His music is admired for its beauty, complexity, and emotional depth.

He was also a virtuoso pianist and a generous friend to many musicians.

But what caused his death at the age of 63?

How did he cope with his illness?

And what legacy did he leave behind?

In this article, we will reveal the shocking truth about what caused Johannes Brahms’ death and how it affected his life and work.

What was Johannes Brahms’ cause of death?

Johannes Brahms died of liver cancer on April 3, 1897, in Vienna, Austria.

He had been suffering from jaundice, weight loss, fatigue, and bleeding for several months before his death.

Johannes Brahms was diagnosed by some of the best doctors of his time, such as Leopold von Schrötter, Hermann Nothnagel, and Theodor Billroth.

However, they could not offer him any effective treatment or cure. Brahms was aware of his condition and accepted his fate with dignity and courage.

How did Johannes Brahms’ lifestyle contribute to his death?

Johannes Brahms was not a very health-conscious person.

He enjoyed eating, drinking, and smoking.

Johannes Brahms loved beef goulash, beef pilaf, herring salad, and sardines.

He also drank beer, cognac, and Tokay wine.

Johannes Brahms smoked cigars and pipes.

He did not exercise much and was overweight.

He also had a stressful and busy life as a composer, performer, and teacher.

All these factors may have contributed to his liver damage and cancer.

How did Johannes Brahms’ illness affect his music?

Johannes Brahms did not stop composing until the last months of his life.

He wrote some of his most profound and moving works during his illness, such as the Four Serious Songs, Op. 121, the Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120, and the Eleven Chorale Preludes, Op. 122.

Johannes Brahms also revised some of his earlier works, such as the Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15, and the Symphony No. 1, Op. 68.

He expressed his emotions and thoughts about death, faith, and love in his music.

He also dedicated some of his works to his friends and family, such as the Double Concerto, Op. 102, to Joseph Joachim, and the String Quintet No. 2, Op. 111, to Clara Schumann.

What was Johannes Brahms’ legacy?

Johannes Brahms left behind a rich and diverse musical legacy.

He composed over 200 works, including symphonies, concertos, chamber music, piano music, vocal music, and choral music.

He was influenced by the classical masters, such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, but also developed his own style and voice.

Johannes Brahms was admired and respected by his contemporaries, such as Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Antonin Dvorak, and Edward Elgar.

He also inspired and influenced many later composers, such as Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss.

He is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time and one of the “Three Bs” of music, along with Bach and Beethoven².


Johannes Brahms was a genius composer who died of liver cancer at the age of 63.

His lifestyle may have contributed to his illness, but he did not let it stop him from creating some of his most beautiful and powerful music.

He faced his death with grace and courage and left behind a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and delight music lovers around the world.


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