Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, composer, poet, and philologist who lived from October 15th 1844 to August 25th 1900. His writings, particularly his writings on morality and self-empowerment had a distinct influence upon the future of philosophy. He began his career by taking up classical philology. He later became more interested in philosophy and began writing. Notably, he was the youngest person to ever hold a chair of Classical Philology at the historic University of Basel in 1869.
He was plagued with health problems most of his life and retired 10 years later. This is when he began writing most of his philosophical work until his eventual mental demise in 1889, at the age of 44. Doctors, at the time, diagnosed him with syphilis, an STD which unfortunately wasn’t treatable at the time. However, we know a lot more about diseases today and as noted in this telegraph article, some people, such as Dr Leonard Sax believe the doctors were wrong, and by comparing his medical accounts with modern data, it seems he may just as likely died from a brain tumor.
But whatever his cause of death, what a lot of people don’t know about him is that he was also an avid composer, who although had an unsuccessful music career, did create numerous, original classical music compositions.
Here are some quotes from Nietzsche to show how he felt about music:
“There has never been a philosopher who has been in essence a musician to such an extent as I am,”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Without music, life would be a mistake.
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
I thought some of you may be interested in hearing some of his music compositions.
So, here is an album of his music played by the talented pianist Lauretta Altman.
Hi there, would you mind sending me the source of this image? I’ve been unable to confirm that this is, in fact, a photograph of Nietzsche. I find it such a striking photo because of how out of character it seems (at least in comparison to the other images we have of him), and would like to know where it’s from. Thank you!