Johann Sebastian Bach was born in 1685, to an organist and town musician, Johann Ambrosius Bach. However, Bach was orphaned at the age of 10 and went to live with his edler brother Johann Christoph where he had klavier and organ lessons.

  Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685 - 1750)

J S Bach was not the most popular composer during his time, but he is recognised as the greatest of all times.

Bach married his cousin cum first wife, Maria Barbara Bach in 1707.

The following year, he became organist in the Kapelle of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and had for the next few years, composed some of his finest organ works and church cantatas.

In 1717 he moved to Cöthen as Court Kapellmeister to the young Prince Leopold. However, the prince was more interested in the instrumental compositions than his religious works. Thus, from this period date his concertos, sonatas, suites, clavier works.

Bach’s wife died in 1720 and he married Anna Magdalena Wilcken on December 1721. Bach had a total of 20 children with his 2 wives, 10 of whom survived to adulthood. 
In 1723, Bach made his final moved to Leipzig. His appointment at St. Thomas in Leipzig since then had enabled him to compose more than 250 church cantatas, These well known works include St Matthew Passion, Mass in B minor, Christmas Oratorio, Goldberg Variations.

Bach was only famous as an organist and not as a composer as his music was regarded by many as old-fashioned. His reputation as a composer was revived almost a century after his death, when St. Matthew’s Passion was performed in Berlin in 1829, conducted by Mendelssohn.

Johann Sebastian Bach had excelled his forebears and contemporaries. Although he did not always receive the respect he deserved in his own life-time, he had raised every genre he used to supreme heights of quality. Wagner quotes about Bach: “the most stupendous miracle in all music.’

~ Written by Boon Sin Ler

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