The Best of Brahms - German composer & pianist - Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3,1897). In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity & influence were considerable. Brahms composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra & for voice & chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist & an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures & compositional techniques of the Baroque & Classical masters.