A service of Cincinnati Public Radio  

Johann Sebastian Bach:
About Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a musical dynasty. The Bach family had over 300 years' worth of professional composers and musicians, but Johann Sebastian was the most famous of all of them. In addition to being one of the greatest composers the world has ever known, Bach was also an excellent organist and violinist.

Music heard in this episode:
Bach: Two-part Invention No. 1 in C Major
Bach: Toccata and Fugue in d minor
Bach: Violin Concerto in E Major
Bach: Orchestral Suite #3
Bach: Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude (Jesu, Joy of Manís Desiring)
Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2

Other shows about Johann Sebastian Bach:
The Sons of Johann Sebastian Bach
What's a Concerto?
The Story of the Brandenburg Concertos

Download this month's activity sheet

About Johann Sebastian Bach
3/21/1685 - 7/28/1750
Born in Germany

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany, where his father was a town musician. Bach came from a long line of composers - over 300 years' worth of Bachs all worked as professional musicians. By the time Johann was 10, both his parents had died, so he was brought up by his older brother, who was a church organist. Johann became a very good organist, too.

Johann Sebastian Bach held three major jobs in his life: first he worked for a duke, then for a prince, and finally, he became director of music at the St. Thomas Church and School in Leipzig, Germany. Even though his job in Leipzig kept him very busy, in his spare time, Bach conducted a group of musicians who liked to get together to perform at a local coffee house.

During his lifetime, people thought of Bach as just an ordinary working musician. No one really knew much about his music until 100 years after his death, when another composer, Felix Mendelssohn, conducted a performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

Bach is now seen as one of the greatest geniuses in music history. He wrote all kinds of music -- for organ and other keyboard instruments, orchestras, choirs, and concertos for many different instrumental combinations.

See other composers born in Germany


This Week's Quiz:

1. Which country did Bach come from?





2.What kind of music did Bach NOT write?

pieces for organ



choral works

3. Which composer revived Bach's music?






Johann Sebastian Bach
Brandenburg Concerto # 2

Composed in 1721
Performed by Capella Istropolitana
Bohdan Warchal, conductor

Talk to us
We love to hear your comments on Classics for Kids.

Get the Classics for Kids Volume 1 & 2 CD set for your family

Home | This Week's Show | Past Shows | Composers | Games | Music | More | For Grownups
On the Radio | Events | Links | Contact Us
Teachers | Parents | About Classics for Kids | Privacy Policy
©2017, Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc.