Composer. The most important Dutch musician of his time, his music bridged the gap between the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Although he apparently never left Holland, Sweelinck's style was cosmopolitan, reflecting his study of scores from Italy and England. He was among the first to develop the fugue, a form later perfected by J. S. Bach. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was born in Deventer. Members of his family served as organists of Amsterdam's Oude Kirk (Old Church) for nearly 100 years, and he succeeded his father in that position in 1580. He was famed for his brilliant organ improvisations, and also as a teacher. Sweelinck's 330 compositions include 153 Psalm settings, 70 keyboard works and dozens of songs. All were published during his lifetime and were very influential, especially in Germany.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards