Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)

How to say the name:

‘Mendelssohn’ is said like Men-del-son. ‘Felix’ is easy to say.


3rd February 1809 in Hamburg, Germany.

Mendelssohn’s grave in Berlin


4th November 1847 in Leipzig, Germany.


Trinity Cemetery in Berlin, Germany.

Type of Music:

Classical music from the romantic period.

A (very!) famous piece:
  • Wedding March—from his music for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. (See below for a video.)
Some great pieces:
  • Violin Concerto. (See below for a video.)
  • Piano Concerto Nos. 1 and 2.
  • Symphonies No. 3 (the ‘Scottish’) and No. 4 (the ‘Italian’).
  • String Quartet No. 6.
  • The oratorios (pieces for choir and orchestra) ‘St Paul’ and ‘Elijah’.
  • Six Sonatas, Op. 65 (for organ).
Some interesting facts:
  • He liked Great Britain and visited frequently. The British at the time also liked Mendelssohn very much.
  • He was a good friend of Queen Victoria.
  • Queen Victoria chose Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’ for her daughter’s wedding. This is why the ‘Wedding March’ is so popular at weddings today! It is normally played when the bride and groom walk out of church. (For the ‘Here Comes the Bride’ piece when the bride enters the church, see the Wagner page.)
  • His sister, Fanny Mendelssohn, also composed music. In fact, some people think that some of ‘Mendelssohn’s’ music may have been written by her!.
  • He was one of the first people to use a baton when conducting. He was the one who brought the idea to Great Britain.
  • He was a great fan of Bach. In fact, most people had forgotten about Bach after he died. Mendelssohn brought Bach’s music to everybody’s attention. And people have liked it ever since!

Here is a video of part of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

The beginning of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

And here is a video of Mendelssohn’s very famous Wedding March from ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The piece was actually written for an orchestra but it is played here on an organ at a real wedding.

Mendelssohn’s famous ‘Wedding March’ played on an organ at a wedding.

Picture credits:
  1. Felix Mendelssohn. This is a painting by James Warren Childe from 1839. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Mendelssohn’s grave in Berlin. This photograph is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Anne Akiko Meyers Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor. Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Anne Akiko Meyers plays the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor with the Hiroshima Symphony, Maestro Akiyama conducting. See more of Anne at www.anneakikomeyers.com. Posted by Bill Townsend www.amatifoundation.org. Recorded October 19, 2005.
  2. Wedding March live. A performance of Mendlessohn’s Wedding March (from A Midsummernight’s Dream, transcribed for organ)at a wedding.