Hiller studied in Weimar under Hummel, where he also met Goethe. As a 15-year-old he met the dying Beethoven in Vienna, and joined Hummel as one of the pallbearers at Beethoven’s funeral, cutting the famous lock of hair from the dead man’s head. As a young composer in Paris, he knew Liszt, Berlioz, Chopin and the Mendelssohns (he was more impressed by Fanny than Felix, and was so close to Berlioz that he willingly gave up his girlfriend to him). Schumann corresponded with him before taking over his former post as music director in Düsseldorf. He belonged to a wide network of Jewish composers and musicians.