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Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born in 1809 as the son of a banker and grandson of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, whipped up a storm of enthusiasm, when only 17, with his incidental music for Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. With a performance of the St. Matthew Passion, after almost 100 years in obscurity, he ushered in a Bach Renaissance in 1829. His activities as conductor at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, starting in 1835, turned it into one of the most renowned cultural institutions in Europe. In 1843, he founded a conservatory, also in Leipzig, the first of its kind in Germany. Mendelssohn died in 1847 at the age of only 38 years from the effects of a stroke.