Since 1971, the Johannes Brahms Museum has been situated in the Neustadt (New Town) district of Hamburg in a historical building dating from 1751. It is not far from Speckstrasse, where the birthplace of the composer and honorary citizen of Hamburg used to stand before it was destroyed by allied bombing in 1943. It is looked after and administered by the Hamburg Johannes Brahms Society, founded in 1969.
It's rooms cover two stories which were made available by the Carl Toepfer Foundation. The museum houses a comprehensive photo documentation, a facsimile editions of Brahms' handwritten manuscripts and letters, some of his personal effects, busts of the composer, a reference library with over 300 books and the volumes of the new complete edition of Brahms works published by the G. Henle Publishing House. There is also a square piano (tafelklavier) made in 1848, as well as a collection of recordings of all of Brahms' works.
Special exhibitions as well as concerts and lectures in the Carl Toepfer Foundations Lichtwark Hall, situated only a few steps away, are an additional part of what the museum has to offer.
Germany possesses musical traditions and legacies of extraordinary value: Handel, Schuetz and Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Wagner - to mention only a few names - are composers who are known and treasured throughout the world. Their work has played a significant role in shaping a unique musical landscape.
Numerous orchestras, choruses, ensembles, renowned music festivals and series, music houses with museums, public archives and libraries, but also private collections preserve their musical heritage.
It is necessary to revitalize this inestimable fund again and again and to develop it for the present. At the same time, an important role befits the houses combined in the consortium of music museums of Germany. In them we encounter the work of the musicians and composers who have extraordinarily enriched the cultural nation of Germany. However, beyond the individual portrait, beyond the procurement of individual oeuvres, the music museums also contribute overall to the maintenance of musical tradition. The present brochure underscores this aspect of the synoptic presentation and invites the reader on a journey into the musical history of Germany. I hope this tour guide will be actively used and receive a large response.Bernd Neumann, Member of the Lower House of the German Parliament
Minister of State with the Federal Chancellor
Commissioner of the Federal Government for Culture and Media
Quoted from: Foreword to the brochure "Music Museums in Germany", 2007.