The composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor Felix Mendelssohn (1809–47) was lionised by the music-loving public during his lifetime, and his music is still greatly admired today. A versatile child prodigy, he wrote music for A Midsummer Night's Dream while he was still a teenager. Masterpieces such as the octet for strings, the 'Italian' symphony, the violin concerto and his great oratorio Elijah followed. His extraordinary ability was such that he was made an honorary member of the Philharmonic Society in 1829 at the age of only twenty during the first of his ten visits to Britain. A great advocate of Johann Sebastian Bach, Mendelssohn did much to reawaken interest in his music. This eminently readable short biography by the composer William Smith Rockstro (1823–95) was first published in 1884 as part of Francis Hueffer's 'Great Musicians' series. A list of Mendelssohn's works is included as an appendix.