Johann Sebastien Bach
Johann Sebastien Bach was born in Eisenach on March 21, 1685 and died and Leipzig on July 28 1750 at age 65. He was the youngest son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, a town musician, from whom he probably learnt the violin and the rudiments of musical theory. When he was ten he was orphaned and went to live with his elder brother Johann Christoph, organist at St. Michael's Church, Ohrdruf, who gave him lessons in keyboard playing. From 1700 to 1702 he attended St. Michael's School in LÃÂ¼neburg, where he sang in the church choir and probably came into contact with the organist and composer Georg BÃÂ¶hm. He also visited Hamburg to hear J.A. Reincken at the organ of St. Catherine's Church.
After competing unsuccessfully for an organist's post in Sangerhausen in 1702, Bach spent the spring and summer of 1703 as 'lackey' and violinist at the court of Weimar and then took up the post of organist at the Neukirche in Arnstadt.
In June 1707 he moved to St. Blasius, MÃÂ¼hlhausen, and four months later married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach in nearby Dornheim. Bach was appointed organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar in 1708, and in the next nine years he became known as a leading organist and composed many of his finest works for the instrument. During this time he fathered seven children, including Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel. When, in 1717, Bach was appointed Kapellmeister at CÃÂ¶then, he was at first refused permission to leave Weimar and was allowed to do so only after being held prisoner by the duke for almost a month.
Bach's new employer, Prince Leopold, was a talented musician who loved and understood the art. Since the court was Calvinist, Bach had no chapel...