Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was one of the seminal musical figures of the 19th century. He shot to fame as a dashing young performer and composer, "the one who had to come" according to Robert Schumann. He consciously "switched" this image, refashioning himself as elder statesman of German music, the heir to Bach and Beethoven. The internal competition between romantic lion and eminence grise enlivened his music, which has influenced nearly every composer that followed him. Adopted by the anti-Wagnerian faction as the leader of traditional principles against 'modern' iconoclasm, his fame as a composer spread rapidly. At the start of the 21st century, his influence remains as acute as ever.