Born at Eisenach into a musical family and in a town steeped in Reformation history, he received early musical training from his father and older brother, and elementary education in the classical school Luther had earlier attended.
Throughout his life he made extraordinary efforts to learn from other musicians. At 15 he walked to Lüneburg to work as a chorister and study at the convent school of St. Michael. From there he walked 30 miles to Hamburg to hear Johann Reinken, and 60 miles to Celle to become familiar with French composition and performance traditions. Once he obtained a month's leave from his job to hear Buxtehude, but stayed nearly four months. He arranged compositions from Vivaldi and other Italian masters. His own co… Go to person page >