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Johann Sebastian Bach

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Eisenach, Germany (1685 – 1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685, Eisenach, Germany – 28 July 1750, Leipzig, Germany) was a virtuoso organist, violinist, violist, harpsichordist and is today better known as a world renowned composer from the Baroque period of Western Classical Music. Admired by countless composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, Bach is described as one of the founding fathers of Classical Music. His sacred & secular music, organ and choral works, and other instrumental music had an enthusiasm and seeming freedom that concealed immense rigor. Bach’s use of counterpoint was brilliant and innovative, and the immense complexities of his compositional style still amaze musicians today.

Bach was born in Eisenach in 1685. He was taught to play the violin and harpsichord by his father, Johann Ambrosius, a court trumpeter in the service of the Duke of Eisenach. Young Johann was not yet ten when his father died, leaving him orphaned. He was taken in by his recently married oldest brother, Johann Christoph, who lived in Ohrdruf. Because of his excellent singing voice, Bach attained a position at the Michaelis monastery at Lüneberg in 1700. His voice changed a short while later, but he stayed on as an instrumentalist. After taking a short-lived post in Weimar in 1703 as a violinist, Bach became organist at the Neue Kirche in Arnstadt (1703-1707). His relationship with the church council was tenuous as the young musician often shirked his responsibilities, preferring to practice the organ.

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