Erik Nitsche: Johann Sebastian Bach
Artist: Erik Nitsche
Regarded as perhaps the greatest composer of all time, Bach was known during his lifetime primarily as an outstanding organ player and technician. The youngest of eight children born to musical parents, Johann Sebastian was destined to become a musician. While still young, he had mastered the organ and violin, and was also an excellent singer. At the age of ten, both of his parents died within a year of each other. Young Sebastian was fortunate to be taken in by an older brother, Johann Christoph, who most likely continued his musical training. At the age of fifteen, Bach secured his first position in the choir of St. Michael's School in Lüneburg. In 1717, Bach moved on to another post, this time as Kapellmeister at the court of Prince Leopold. During the years Bach was in the service of the courts, he was obliged to compose a great deal of instrumental music: hundreds of pieces for solo keyboard, orchestral dance suites, trio sonatas for various instruments, and concertos for various instruments and orchestra. Towards the end of 1749, Bach's failing eyesight was operated on by a traveling English surgeon, the catastrophic results of which were complete blindness. His health failing, Bach nevertheless continued to compose, dictating his work to a pupil. He finally succombed to a stroke on July 28, 1750. He was buried in an unmarked grave at St. Thomas' Church.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Germany 10pf Johann Sebastian Bach stamp issued March 19, 1985.
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