Johann Sebastian Bach

Born: March 21, 1685
Eisenach, Thuringia, German
Died: July 28, 1750

J.S. Bach was the youngest of eight children in a very musical family. He mastered the violin and piano while he was still very young, and sang extremely well. At the age of ten, Bach lost both of his parents to illness. Bach then moved in with his older brother, who saw to it that Sebastian’s musical training continued. By the time Bach was fifteen, he was in first position in the choir at the prestigious St. Michael’s School in Luneburg. A very religious man, Bach accepted jobs within churches as both an organist and vocalist.

In 1706, Bach married his cousin, Maria Barbara. The following year, he became the organist and concertmaster at the court of the Duke of Weimar. Ten years and seven children later, Bach took the position of Kapellmeister, or court composer, for the court of Prince Leopold in Cothen. As the official court composer, his job was to write hundreds of instrumental pieces of music for different occasions. Amongst these, the famous Brandenburg Concertos were born, as well as many other pieces now considered the best music ever written.

In 1720, Maria Barbara died, and a year later, Sebastian remarried the town trumpeter’s daughter, Anna Magdalena. Together, the couple had thirteen more children, making Bach’s grand total of twenty kids. Of the twenty children, ten died in babyhood. Of the ten remaining children, four turned out to be famous composers.

After Bach remarried, he accepted a position at the St. Thomas’ Church as organist and teacher. There, he would write many sacred works of composition, including Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. However, Bach was never really famous as a composer during his lifetime. He was thought of as skilled organist and technician, but only in his death would he become a world-renowned composer.

In 1749, out of desperation, Bach let a traveling surgeon operate on his eyes, which caused him to become totally blind. Although he was ill, he continued to compose with the help of a student. In 1750, his health failed, as he had a fatal stroke. He was buried in a grave with no marker in the graveyard at St. Thomas’ Church.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s death symbolizes the end of the Baroque Era in classical music.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Organ Piano Viola Composer Harpsichord Violin

Classical Music

Artists That Were Influenced By Johann Sebastian Bach:
Cliff Burton Yngwie J. Malmsteen Lyle Mays Vinnie Moore Robert Smith
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