Felix Mendelssohn is one of the most well-known figures of the early Romantic era; he was a German composer, pianist, musical conductor, and teacher. Mendelssohn's music mostly followed Classical styles and techniques while still introducing core elements of Romanticism—the musical trend that exalted emotion and creativity above rigid modes and rituals. Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream (1826), Italian Symphony (1833), a violin concerto (1844), two piano concerti (1831, 1837), the oratorio Elijah (1846), and several chamber works are among his most well-known works. Moses Mendelssohn's grandson was him. Felix Mendelssohn was born to Jewish parents Abraham and Lea Salomon Mendelssohn, from whom he learned to play the piano. Despite their ancestors' pride, the Mendelssohn family believed it was essential to mark their liberation from the ghetto by following the Christian religion, in line with 19th-century liberal ideals. Felix was baptized as a Lutheran in 1816, along with his brother and two wives. When Felix's parents were baptized in 1822, the whole family took the surname Bartholdy after Felix's maternal uncle, who had selected a family estate name.
During Hamburg's French occupation in 1811, the family relocated to Berlin, where Mendelssohn studied piano with Ludwig Berger and composition with Carl Friedrich Zelter. The latter influenced his growth greatly as a composer and instructor. Other instructors taught the Mendelssohn children literature and nature art, so Mendelssohn's imagination was well-cultivated from an early age. Strong awareness of the skills nourished and enhanced his spirit, as did study and scholarship. He went to Paris with his sister, where he continued his piano lessons and seemed to have learned about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music.
Mendelssohn was a musical genius who was highly gifted at a young age. During his childhood, he composed many works, including five operas, eleven string ensemble symphonies, concerti, sonatas, and fugues. The majority of these works were once held in manuscript at Berlin's Prussian State Library, but they are thought to have been lost after World War II. In Berlin, at the age of nine, he made his first public appearance.
As a conductor, Mendelssohn flourished. He performed Bach's St. Matthew Passion's first production since his death on March 11, 1829, at the Singakademie in Berlin, kicking off the 19th-century Bach revival. Meanwhile, he had traveled to Switzerland and encountered Carl Maria von Weber, whose opera Der Freischütz, which premiered in Berlin in 1821, inspired him to write music with a national flavor. The String Octet in E Flat Major (1825), composed by Mendelssohn, demonstrates the technical mastery and an almost unparalleled lightness of touch and great melodic and rhythmic originality for the period. Mendelssohn created the scherzo (a playful musical movement) genre in this piece, which he would later include in the incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream (1843).