Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was born in Germany, where he resided his entire life. Despite his popularity with modern audiences, he was more of a working man than a celebrity in his own day. When he was employed as a musician in the court of Weimar in 1703, records describe him as just a “lackey”. He played in various courts and sacred spaces in what is now Germany, traveling from city to city. Sometimes it was for better opportunities, other times it was because he had burnt bridges. He passed away in Leipzig in 1750, which is considered to be the year that marks the end of the Baroque period in music.
J.S. Bach was an incredibly prolific composer, and his surviving works fill a massive catalog. Some of his most well-known works include Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for organ, his Mass in B Minor, his oratorio St. Matthew’s Passion and his keyboard suites: The Well Tempered Clavier, The Art of the Fugue, and the Goldberg Variations.
Listen to some of Bach’s music here:
Wolff, Christoph, and Walter Emery. “Bach, Johann Sebastian.” Grove Music Online. 17 Sep. 2018.