Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) – a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor. He began his musical career as a wunderkind (he gave his first public concert at the age of nine and published his first compositions as a thirteen-year-old). From 1829 to 1834, he travelled a great deal around Great Britain, France and Italy. In 1835, he became kapellmeister of the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, and in 1843 he helped found the Leipzig Conservatory (the first institution of its kind in Germany), thanks to which that city became an important European musical centre. He helped institute a renaissance of the music of J. S. Bach. Mendelssohn’s music is based on the models of Beethoven and Schubert, but with the Songs without Words he forged a new model of Romantic lyric instrumental music. His oeuvre includes five symphonies, operas, cantatas, piano and violin concertos and chamber works. His overture to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is regarded as one of the most splendid works of the Romantic era. His output also includes the oratorios St Paul and Elijah, in which we hear distinct inspirations from the music of J. S. Bach (he was one of the first Romantic composers to employ archaisation).