Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21 - Johann Sebastian Bach

Composer, violinist and organist Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Germany, into a musical family. His father and all his uncles were musicians. He learned violin and harpsichord, and his brother, Johann Christoph, took him in at age 10 when both parents died. In 1703, he became a court musician of Duke Johann Ernst of Weimar, and later organist at the New Church in Arnstadt. In this period he wrote great works for the organ, including the "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," and many church cantatas, including one containing "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." On his death in Leipzig in 1750, Bach left behind seven clavecins and harpsichords, six violins and violas, two cellos, a viola da gamba, a lute, a spinet, and 52 "sacred books." His grave went unmarked for nearly 150 years. His coffin was found in 1894 and moved to a church that was destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II. In 1950 his remains were interred in Leipzig's Church of St. Thomas.

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