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Johann Kuhnau (Composer)

Born: 6th April 1660, Geising, Germany

Died: 5th June 1722, Leipzig, Germany

Nationality: German

Johann Kuhnau was a German polymath, known primarily as composer today. He was also active as a novelist, translator, lawyer, and music theorist, and was able to combine these activities with his duties in his official post as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, which he occupied for 21 years. Much of his music, including operas, masses, and other large-scale vocal works, is lost. His reputation today rests on his Biblical Sonatas, a set of programmatic keyboard sonatas published in 1700, in which each sonata depicted in detail a particular story from the Bible. After his death, Kuhnau was succeeded as Thomaskantor by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Further Reading: Kuhnau

 Interview, Jonathan Sells on Christmas in Leipzig

Jonathan Sells, artistic director of the British early music ensemble Solomon's Knot, talks to David about their début recording, featuring three consecutive musical directors at the Leipzig Thomaskirche - Johann Schelle, Johann Kuhnau and, of course, Johann Sebastian Bach.

All Works: Kuhnau

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