Performing Arts

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Renowned German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), was orphaned at the age of 10. He and his older brother 13 year old Jacob, were sent to live with their older brother Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703)—who became a noted composer—then recently married, expecting a child and employed as an organist in Ohrdruf, 31km south of Thuringia.

Sebastian remained living with Christoph and his family until he was 15. It was while living with Christoph that Sebastian developed his keyboard skills. From Christoph’s Sebastian went to Luneburg, 375km north of Ohrdruf. There he attended the Michaelisschule, which offered free tuition to musically talented young people. Instead of going on to university from there he got work as a musician.

Over the years Bach had a number of court appointments. He wrote organ music and biblical interpretations for the church, concertos for orchestras, dance music, and compositions for solo performances.

While alive, Bach was best known for his performances but he is now “generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.”