|Johann Sebastian Bach The Bach Museum, |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Johann Sebastian Bach biography is an interesting read. In Eisenach, Germany on March 21, 1685 Johann Sebastian Bach was born. He was the youngest child of Johann Ambrosius Bach and Elizabeth Lammerhirt Bach. His father was an organist in the church and many other family members were also musicians.
Members of the Bach family were skilled at playing many instruments including the clavichord, violin, organ and harpsichord. There were also singers in the family. Bach received training in all of these areas in the early years of his musical training.
Both of Bach's parents died when he was only nine years old. His father died first and his mom died just two months later. At age ten he went to live with his older brother Johann Christoph who was an organist at church and who became Bach's first music teacher. Bach had longed for a singing career and was a very talented singer. He was chosen to sing in the church choir.
In 1700 an opening came about at St. Michael's School in Luneburg and he was awarded a singing scholarship. His voice began to change and he started playing the violin. Bach graduated in 1702.
|Exterior of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, |
with Bach statue
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By a church in Arnstad Germany Bach was hired in 1703 as an organist. This opportunity gave him ample time to practice his favorite instrument. In 1707 Bach became the organist for a church in Muhlhausen, Germany. He married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach later in that same year. This is also the year that Cantata No. 71, God Is My King was composed.
A year later Bach went to Weimar, Germany and became the court organist to Duke Wilhelm Ernst. From 1708 to 1710 Bach composed a large amount of original organ music. Prince Leopold of Cöthen, Germany offered Bach a position in 1716. A highlight of the Johann Sebastian Bach biography is that Bach produced his finest instrumental compositions during this period.
In 1720 Maria died. She left him a widower and with seven children. In 1921 Bach married Anna Magdalena Wulken who was a twenty-year-old singer. Over the next twenty years they had thirteen children together.
Bach was named the choir leader of Leipzig, Germany in 1723. His duties were to provide choral music to the churches St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. Bach also taught classes in music, gave private singing lessons, and taught Latin. It was while Bach was in Leipzig that he composed the majority of his choral music.
A sad ending of the Johann Sebastian biography is that Bach began to slowly lose his eyesight in his final years and went completely blind in the last year of his life. On July 28, 1750 Bach died due to complications from a stroke and high fever.
Bach was a well-regarded composer and musician, but his works were not published until he was forty-one. And it was not until fifty years after his death that he became well-known outside of Germany. To this day Bach is widely remembered for his exceptional compositions.