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Bach, Johann Christian -

Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782) is commonly known as the "English Bach", and was the youngest son of Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalene Bach.

In 1750, when he was only fifteen, his father died, and he went to Berlin, brought there by his half-brother Wilhelm Friedemann Bach to live with another brother,
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. For four years, J.C. Bach was instructed in music by his older brother, and in Berlin became familiar with and enthusiastic about Italian operas.

In 1754, he went to Italy, where he was appointed as Kapellmeister to Conte Agostino Litta, who gave him enough funds to study under Padre Martini. During this time, J.C. Bach converted to Catholicism and became a great composer of church music.

His first major work was a Mass, which received an excellent performance and reception in 1757. In 1760, he was appointed as organist at the cathedral in Milano. There he began to compose a great number of operas, masses, requiems, and motets.

In 1761, Artaserse was performed in Turin, and was followed in Napoli by Catone in Utica, and one year later, also in Napoli, by Alessandro nell'Indie. These three operas were very successful, and J.C. Bach's reputation became wide-spread.

On February 19, 1763, J.C. Bach's first opera (Orione) for England was performed at the King's Theatre. The King and Queen attended the first performance, and were so enthralled that they returned to the second. Orione was on the schedule for three months, and J.C. Bach achieved the position as music-master to Queen Charlotte, a post he would retain until his death.

In 1764, J.C. Bach became friends with Karl Friedrich Abel, a pupil of Johann Sebastian Bach, virtuoso of the viola da gamba and chamber-musician to the Queen.
The two became fast friends, and not only decided to live together but held joint concerts in London. For more than seventeen years, J.C. Bach and Abel held performances that achieved great fame for both.

The same year that he met Abel, J.C. Bach also met Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was still a child.
When introduced to each other, they had an immediate connection and great affection for the other. J.C. Bach frequently devised tests of Mozart's genius, each of increasing difficulty, and he was bewildered and speechless at the ease with which the child passed them all. The two also gave several joint sonata performances.
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Total 5 Compositions
Series: Stand Alone Pieces, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Trombone 4+Trumpet 3, Difficulty: medium
Series: Stand Alone Pieces, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Piano>4hands, Difficulty: medium
Series: Choral works, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Choir>SATB, Difficulty: medium
Series: Songs (Spiritual), Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Choir>SSATB+Basso continuo, Difficulty: medium
Series: Stand Alone Pieces, Theme: Autumn
Orchestration: Organ, Difficulty: easy to medium
Total 5 Compositions