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Johann Rosenmuller

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Biography

Johann Rosenmüller (1619 – 1684) was a German Baroque composer who played a part in transmitting Italian musical styles to the north.

Rosenmüller studied at the University of Leipzig, graduating in 1640. He served as organist of the Nikolai Church from 1651, and had been assured of advancement to cantor. However, in 1655 a scandal concerning homosexual activities involving Rosenmüller and choirboys emerged and he was imprisoned.

Escaping from prison he fled to Italy, and by 1658 was employed at Saint Mark’s in Venice where he later composed. He composed many vocal works while teaching at an orphanage for girls (Ospedale della Pietà). The works of Giovanni Legrenzi and Arcangelo Corelli were among his Italian influences and his sacred compositions show the influence of Heinrich Schütz.

In his last years he returned to Germany with Duke Anton-Ulrich of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, at whose court he served as choir master. He died at Wolfenbüttel on 10 September, 1684, and is buried there.

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