Louis Spohr was a German violinist, composer, and conductor born on April 5, 1784 (Mozart was 28 years old.). He began to study at an early age, though I have no idea how early. His first job as a violinist was as an orchestra musician when he was 15 years old (1799). As a result of a public concert in 1804, Spohr became an overnight success. In 1805, he was made concertmaster of the court orchestra at Gotha where he stayed until 1812. In 1813, he became conductor of the Vienna Theatre and later, in 1817 opera director in Frankfurt. From 1822 until 1859, he was director of music at the court at Kassel. Someone has said that the portrait at left is a self-portrait so Spohr - it can be assumed - was a painter, too. He was definitely a prolific composer (and even composed several operas) but is best known (among violinists) for his Violin Concerto number 8. Spohr died in October, 1859.