Louis Spohr (1784–1859) was one of the most popular musicians of the early Romantic period, but of his considerable output (including 10 symphonies, 15 violin concertos, nine operas and a large amount of chamber music), only the Octet op.32 and the Nonet op.31 are heard regularly today. Spohr established his name as a virtuoso violinist and completed his Violin method in 1831. As a conductor, he contributed to the increasing use of the baton to direct performances. He travelled widely in Europe, visiting London for the first time in 1820, when he directed a Philharmonic Society concert, and returning four times between 1843 and 1853. This autobiography, begun in 1847, gives a lively (but not necessarily always accurate) account of life as a professional musician. Spohr's own account ends at June 1838, and the book was completed by family members using materials provided by his wife.