An ultrashort biography coming with the quote respectively tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach. Paul Hindemith was a German composer of importance. Plus he was violist. He was born in the year 1895 in Hanau, Germany, and he died 1963 in Frankfurt. He was one of the acknowledged representatives of serious music. Plus he opened up the path from a classic audience among others to jazz. Like Bach saw himself and so did others at Bach's time, Hindemith saw himself as a craftsman. Even more than he saw himself as an artist. In the "Armar-Quartett, a very well-known music band in the 20s of the last century Hindemith made music with his highly music skilled brother. Hindemith thought at the world-famous Yale University in the United States of America und he already received the honorary doctorate of the Free University of Berlin in 1950. In the year 1951 he received the Bach-Prize of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, only one of many honorations, which is mentioned here, of course, for a special reason.
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Carl Friedrich Zelter
Carl Friedrich Zelter was a German musician. Plus, he was professor, music pedagogue and composer. He was a conductor too. However, at the beginning of his career he was brick layer. Like his father. So, actually it would have been a family of brick layers, like the Bachs were a family of musicians. Humbug, let's get serious again. In 1809, he was appointed Professor of the Royal Academy of Arts. His musical role models were Bach and Handel. And when was Zelter born. That was in 1758. In Berlin. And when did he die? That was in 1832. In Berlin as well. He has composed symphonies, cantatas and motettes. Plus, especially songs. Zelter was once of the most well-known musicians in Berlin. Zelter's graveyard is preserved until today: a 7 feet obelisk and a memorial tablet on the cemetery of the St. Sophia Church in Berlin-Mitte, Germany.
Gerhard Weinberger is a German organist, and he is professor in playing the organ as well. He is born in 1948 in Pfaffenhofen, Bavaria, Germany, and he completed his education between 1967 and 1972 at the College of Music and Theater in Munich, Germany. In 1971, he was prize winner at the International Music Competition of the ARD, in 1972 he was Choir Director at the Basilica St. Lorenzin Kempten, Germany. 1974 he was called to the Academy for Music and Theater in Munich. There he educated as professor for organ play since 1977. From 1983 until 2011 he acted at the Academy of Music in Detmold, Germany and from 2003 he did the same in Würzburg, parallel. He is member of the European Academy of Science and Arts plus, especially exciting for us Bach enthusiasts, he is member of the Board of the Neue Bach Gesellschaft (The New Bach Society) Leipzig, Germany. With his spouse he is giving concerts for four hand organ music, he travelled around the globe to give concerts, and he is issuer of several publications.
Maybe the rock musician Sting is less well-known to the typical Bach enthusiast and more to the kids of our internet generation. Sting is born in the year 1951, and he is in the music business already for a long time. He sings, he is bassist, and he is an actor. He saw the light of day in the shire of Tyne in England, so according to this he is ... British. Before his musical career he worked, among others, as an English teacher and music teacher. His nickname back then, was: Sting. Because of his appearance in a black-yellow sweater. He looked like a wasp - a fellow band member said. Only on official documents Sting is not Sting, but underwrites with his real name. He engages in environmental protection and human rights. And he engages in protecting the rain forest. He is a prize winner, and he is "Commander in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire". In the meantime Sting is looking back on a 25-year long successful solo career.
© Photo/Source/License: by Karol Langner at en.wikipedia [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
Witold Lutoslawski was a Polish composer and conductor. He is, like Johann Sebastian Bach, a member of a family of musicians too and became an early education in music. During his academic studies he found a close relationship between music and mathematics. He wanted to study in Paris, France, but World War II averted that. Lutoslawski is born in Warsaw, Poland in 1913, and he died in the same city. He is a musician who is decorated with many international awards.
Johann Friedrich Rochlitz
Johann Friedrich Rochlitz is German storyteller, a dramatist and a music writer. He is born in the music metropolis of Leipzig and died there too. One was in 1769, the other happened 1842. Rochlitz was a Thomas Choir Boy, exciting in the in conjunction with the theme of this website. In the age of 29 years Rochlitz founded a newspaper, which is the General Musical Newspaper, and he was editor in that publication until 1818. He was awarded the title of a Ducal Saxony Weimar Court Councelor. Many great persons of his time have been his friends: Goethe, Schiller, E.T.A. Hoffmann. He met Beethoven and Franz Schubert. The most considerable work he left the world, was the autobiographical story "Days of Danger" ("Tage der Gefahr") about the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig. Today the Friedrich-Rochlitz-Prize for art critics reminds of him.
Friedrich Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck was a German politician and until his death in 1960 he was the only president of the German Democratic Republic, GDR (DDR). He was born in 1876, and he died in Berlin. 1895 he joined the SPD, which is the Social Democratic Party, one of the two bigger parties in Germany. After World War I in 1918 he was founding member of the KPD. 1921 he met Lenin. With his death the GDR Council was follow-up organ of the president.
Igor Fjodorowitsch Strawinsiki was a Russian-French-American composer, and he was a considerable composer. From 1882, when he was born in Oranienbaum, Russia until the year 1971, when he died in the United States of America. First Strawisnke studied law until he accomplished 1905. In the year 1910 he travelled to Paris, France for the first time, in 1920 he lived there mainly and 1934 he became French citizen. With the begin of the war his way led to America, at that time he was 58 years old. Strawinski not only was composer, but pianist and conductor as well, and he appeared on the stages of Venice, Italy, Berlin, Germany, London, United Kingdom and New York. His sense for business is as well remembered as his problems with copyrights.
Hélène Grimaud is a French pianist, and she is born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence. She began playing the piano already at the age of six years. She studied in Marseille and from 1982, after she managed to accomplished the entrance examination at the Conservatory in Paris in the French capital. In her second academic year she received her first record contract. In 1985 there was a first article about her published. And in the same year she finished her academic studies with a prize. 1987 she managed to attract international recognization for the first time. 1990 she shined in the United Sates for the first time and in the same year she decided for a whole tour in the USA. At a concert in Florida Grimaud met her fist husband, they married a short time later and shortly after that she moved to Tallahassee, the capital of Florida. Later she moved to New York, alone. A connection to wolves, which she developed in Florida made her create a Wolf Conservation Center, which opened its doors in 1999. It attends to the breed, the protection and to the reintegration of wolves in their natural habitat. Engagement for the protection of species decorate Grimaud as well. Besides honorariums for her artistic work she has been awarded for her social engagement. It's worth mentioning she wrote an autobiography "Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves", in which she explains the unusual connection between her and this animal species.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Sir John Eliot Gardiner is a British conductor and choir leader. He is born in 1943 in England. Already at the age of 15 he conducted for the first time and as a young student at Cambridge University he leaded the Oxford and Cambridge Singers during a tour. 1964 he founded the Monteverdi Choir, 1968 the Monteverdi Orchestra. His most remarkable achievement Gardiner accomplished with his excellent performance of historic music. In particular with playing historic instruments in concerts. The following stations of a very special musician career: Vancouver in Canada, Lyon, France, then Göttingen and Hamburg, both Germany. 1989 he undertook a world tour with the Monteverdi Choir and 2004 he founded a record label. Very special attention he again devoted to - and that is what we, Bach enthusiasts are most interested in - the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. More about that is what you may discover here. In his leisure time Sir Eliot runs an ecological farm.
Tadeusz Szeligowski was a Polish composer and music pedagogue. He was born in 1896. From 1921 until 1928 he studied music science after he started already 1918 with studying law. 1929 und 1931 he went on studying in Paris, France with a grant of the Ministry of Education and after that he educated at the Music Academy in Posen, Poland. In 1950, he became professor and from 1951 until 1954 he was president of the Polish Composer Association. Szeligowski died in 1963 in Posen.
Hans-Georg Nägeli was a Swiss music pedagogue. Plus he was publisher and composer. He was born in 173 in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, and he died in the same city in 1836. He has mostly created vocal music, and he levelled the patz to chorla singing. In 1801, he published the "Well tempered Clavier" of Johann Sebastian Bach for the first time. Still today, letters of Nägeli are present in the Leipzig Music Publishing House in the State Archive in Leipzig, Germany.
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Günther Ramin is born in 1898 in Karlsruhe, Germany and died in 1956 in Leipzig. He was organist and cembalist, choir leader and composer. He was accepted as a Thomas Choir boy in 1910 at the age of 12 years. Plus he visited the Thomas School. After that he studied piano playing, later organ playing and composing as well. World War I interrupts his studies. 1918 he became organist at the St. Thomas Church. 1920 at the Gewandhaus as well. 1032 he was appointed professor. 1939 he was appointed Thomas Cantor, and he remained in that position until his death. Ramin brought the Thomas Boy Choir back to international reputation after World War II. He especially felt constrained to the work of one of his precursors: Johann Sebastian Bach.
© Photo/Source/Lcense: by Don Hunstein / Glenn Gould Foundation [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
Glenn Herbert Gould was a Canadian pianist and lived from 1932 until 1982, so he only became 50 years old. He is born in Toronto, Canada, and he died in this town too. He was a pianist and composer, an organist and a music author. Gould is exceptionally famous for his Bach recordings. Gould's father was musical too, his mother was even a pianist and organist. Plus he was distantly related to Edward Grieg. Starting as early as age three he learned to play the piano plus reading notes. In 1955, he accomplished the international break through with his concert in New York. This lead to an invitation of a record label and finally the first famous studio recording of the Goldberg Variations of Bach came into being. Until his death Gould stayed with this label. This label was the famous "Columbia Records". From 1964 until his death he didn't give any public concert anymore, but focused.
Werner Egk was a German composer and actually his name was Werner Joseph Mayer. The anagram Egk results from the initials of his wife in addition with her job: The pianist, which is in German "Geigerin" (G) Elisabeth (E) Karl (K). In 1937 this anagram became legal family name. Egk is born in nowadays Donauwörth, Germany and died in Inning at the Ammersee, a lake in 1983. 1935 he started his career as a orchestra leader at the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Bavarian Broadcast. After the war Egk worked from 1950 to 1953 at the Academy for Music in Berlin, Germany as the director of this facility. 1950 he was appointed president of the German Composer Association and Chairman of the board of directors of the GEMA. The city of Donauwörth, where he is buried made him a citizen of honor in 1971.
Charles-Marie Albert Widor was a French organist and composer and was a music pedagogue. He lived from 1844 until 1937 and was born in Lyon, France. Widor died in Paris. Widor is like Bach a member of a family of musicians and received his first organ lessons from his father. Already at the age of 11 he became organist. One specialty of this musician is, that destroyed several works, which he performed successfully. 1870 he was appointed "Titular organist" of Saint-Sulpice, and he kept this position for 64 years! For him playing the organ was "... a feeling of nobility and eternity, for what ... words wouldn't be enough..." Widor left a considerable work of music and literature.
Jacques Loussier was a French pianist and arranger. He is very well-known for hie "Play Bach" series. Loussier is born 1934 in angers, France. Already at the age of ten years he got his first education in playing the piano. He played his first Bach piece, a prelude from the known "Notenbüchlein for Anna Magdalena Bach" just for "the amusement" of the whole family" as often as 50 times one after another. Later he toured with Romania gypsies trough Cuba, spent his military duty in Algeria and became well-known later with jazzed versions of many Bach works. In 1959, he founded the "Play Bach Trio". From 1978 he want to spend time only with own compositions and wine growing, and he dissolved the trio. 1985, exactly 300 years after Bach's death he founded the trio again and 2004 he gave a guest performance in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. He composed for 67 films and in 2010 he was awarded a German Jazz Trophy for his lifework.
Peter Watson is a British journalist. Plus he is culture historian and author of detective stories. He is born in 1943, and he studied in Durham, London and Rom, Italy. Later he wrote for the New York Times and the Observer plus he wrote a book, which was awarded with a prize. More nonfiction books and novels came into being between 1973 and today. Since 1989 he is a scientific assistant at a Cambridge University Institute. Today he is living in London and in France.
... answering the question, what fascinates him most about Johann Sebastian Bach.
Ton Koopman is a Netherlands conductor and organist. Plus he is a cembalist. He is born in 1944 in Zwolle in the Netherlands. Koopman studied music "science and founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979. Plus, he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Choir". Between 1994 and 2004 he recorded all cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. Koopman is a welcome guest conductor all over Europe, America and even in Japan. Since 2004 he is professor of music science at the University in Leiden, Netherlands. In 2006, he began the recording of the complete works of Dieterich Buxtehude, who we meet on the path of live of Johann Sebastian Bach as well. 2012 Koopman received the Buxtehude Prize auf the town of Lübeck, Germany, a Bach city as well.
Siegfried Hermelink was a German professor of musicology and later the university music director in Heidelberg. He studied musicology in Stuttgart and Tübingen, later in Heidelberg. In 1945, he published a work on Johann Sebastian's piano works, which he died in 1975 in France.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a classical philologist, who became world-famous not earlier than after his death. Plus, he created poems and compositions. He lived from 1844 until 1900. He is born near Lützen, Germany, and he died in the Bach City of Weimar. Originally he was a Prussian citizen. However, after his emigration to Basel, Switzerland he was stateless. With 24 years he was a professor already, but steps back from this position 10 years for health reasons. After the age of 45 he suffered increasingly from a mental illness, and he spent the rest of his life as a nursing case. Starting 1890 the world recognized him, and he became famous fast. That however is what he didn't realize knowingly anymore.
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Albert Schweizer. Doctor Albert Schweitzer! What a personality. And what a considerable person for the Bach community. He is born in the Alsatia close to Colmar, France in 1875. He died in Lambarene, Gabun, Africa in 1965. Almost every student knows, that he was a doctor, and that is for the poorest in africa. But almost no student knows, that he was a music scientist too. Plus, a writer. and not just any writer. Schweitzer was one of the "Big Five", the great five bigraphers of Johann Sebastian Bach. He was not one of the most popular biographers of Bach in his time and the publication of his work, but today as well. Even today you can buy a copy of Schweitzer's biography on Bach - and that is hot off the press! Plus, Schweitzer was a theologian, organist and philosopher - what a human, what a life. 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to respect his achievement. It's left to mention that Schweitzer was a pacifist.
© Photo/Source: Alena Cherny; www.alenacherny.ch
Alena Cherny is born 1967 in the Ukraine and is living in Switzeland for many years. She is a pianis, accomplished the Tschaikowsky Conservatory in Kiew Russia with the highest honor and travelled the whole world on expanded concert tours. She visited the USA, Great Britain, Israel, Germany, Italy, Austria and Japan too. Her repertoire goes from Baroque until contemporary music.
Daniel Barenboim is an Israeli-Spain-Palestine pianist and conductor. Numerous awards accompany his life, among them many Grammy. Finally the Federal Cross of Merit coronates these respectations. Barenboim was born 1942 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and it was here, that he gave his first concert in the young age of just eight years. Later he was appointed chief conductor of the "Orchestre de Paris". Later he conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchetstra in the United States of america and since 1992 he general music director of the State Opera "Unter den Linden" in Berlin, germany. He extended this contract vom 2011 until the year 2022.
Dimitri Borissowitsch Kabalewski
Dimitri Borissowitsch Kabalewski was a Russian composer. he was born in 1904 in St. Petersburg and he died in 1987 in Moscow. He was already artisticall talented as a child but at first he was devoted to painting and poetry. After his parents moved to Moscow Kabalewski mad ehis first money for his study of mathematics and economy... as a silent movie pianist. From 1925 he stueied music, already 1932 he was already teacher. 1939 he was appointed professor for composing. 1956 he became memeber of the Ministra of Cuilture, he was awarded the Stalin Prize and 1980 he reiceived the state prize of the back then USSR too.
Gustav Leonhardt was a conductor from the Netherlands. He was cembalist and organist too. He died in the age of 84 years in amsterdam, he was born in 1828 in Graveland. He was excited by historic organs, in the age of 15 he began to be interested in playing the cembalo. 1954 he became professor for cembalo, 1955 he founded the Leonhardt-Consort and he wbecam well-known for interpreting the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. 1969 he was appointed professor at the Havard University in the United States of america. Between 1701 and 1990, that is almost 20 years, he worked together with Nikolaus Harnoncourt to record all church cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. In the film "The Chronicl of Anna Magdalena Bach" he was an actor in the role of Bach.
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