Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
J.S. Bach's work, though rarely recognised during his lifetime, has inspired and fascinated generations of composers (e.g. Beethoven, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy) ever since. This reflects even in modern music like:
Deeply rooted in his faith in God, he not only created everlasting works in chamber music, but also outstanding church music.
During his life he was in a continuous struggle to find a position that would equal his musical ambition.
Several times he had conflicts, one of them with Prince Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar which even lead to an arrest because of his request to leave his position as court organist and chamber musician at the dutchy chapel in Weimar.
However, even in prison, he didn’t dwell on his fate but used the time to write his famous “Orgelbüchlein”.
His life began as an orphan, brought up by his older brother Johann Christoph who not only made sure he got an excellent education in the Latin school, but in the Bach families’ traditional business: Music.
However, he mostly learned the art of composition as an autodidact, exploring the scores of famous composers by sneaking into his brother's study by night.
His most productive years were at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen where he wrote i.a. the famous “Brandenburgische Konzerte” and at St. Thomas church in Leipzig resulting in plenty of cantatas, oratories etc.
In Leipzig one can still listen to the Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig) originally founded by Bach and that keeps his music alive.