Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685. The Bachs enjoyed a wide reputation for fine music. Bach's father taught him how to play the violin and the harpsichord. When Bach was young, he lost a sister and later a brother. At 9 years of age, Bach's mother died. Nine months later, Bach's father died. Bach and Johann Jakob, his brother, went to live with Johann Cristoph, their eldest brother. Cristoph was a great teacher. Bach studied the organ, the harpsichord, and compositions under him.
Bach was a fine singer. He was admitted into the Mettenchor (Mattins Choir) in Lüneburg.
Bach went to Arnstadt in 1703. There, he was an organist and trained undisciplined choir boys.
In 1707, Bach went to Mühlhausen. He became the organist of the town. His salary was small. Bach married Maria Barbara on October 17, 1707. They had 4 children that survived.
Bach went to Weimar in 1708. He was a member of the chamber orchestra and an organist in the Weimar court.
In 1717, Bach went to Cöthen. Bach held the position of Capellmeister, the highest rank given to a musician in the baroque period. Bach served under Prince Leopold Anhalt-Cöthen. This was when Bach composed most of his best music.
Maria Barbara died in 1720. In December 1721, Bach married Anna Magdalena. They bore 13 children, but not all of them survived.
Bach moved to Leipzig in 1723. He would stay there for the rest of his life. His job there was to train choirs.
On July 28, 1750, Bach died. He was buried in St. John's Church. St. John's Church was bombed during World War II and Bach's bones were rescued and put in Thomaskirche.
Hear his music
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
Overture No. 4 Rejouissance
Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Ich liebe den hochsten von ganzem gemute cantata