Composer. The oldest surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Anna Magdalena Bach, he became a noted musician in his own right, though his works are infrequently performed today. He is sometimes referred to as the "Bueckeburg Bach" because he lived there most of his life. Bach was born in Leipzig and studied at the St. Thomas School while developing virtuoso skills as a keyboard player. His pursuit of a law degree at Leipzig University was cut short by the death of his father in 1750, and he accepted a position as harpsichordist at the Bueckeburg court of Count Wilhelm of Schaumberg-Lippe. He was appointed the court's Konzertmeister in 1759 and served in that post until his death. His son, Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst, was the last of the "musical Bachs". In terms of style J.C.F. Bach is regarded as a transitional figure. At first he composed High Baroque works like his father; later he adapted the Italianate manner Count Wilhelm favored. He lacked a strong creative personality and his inspiration seemed to rely on external stimuli. From 1771 to 1776 he collaborated with the poet Johann Gottfried Herder on six oratorios, among them what is probably his masterpiece, "The Awakening of Lazarus" (c. 1773); their opera "Brutus" (c. 1775) is sadly lost. On a visit to London in 1778 he fell in love with the music of Mozart and his late opuses reveal a marked Classical influence. Bach's output includes 20 symphonies, six keyboard concertos, the Passion Oratorio "Der Tod Jesu" and the cantata "Cassandra", songs and dozens of chamber pieces. Many of his unpublished manuscripts were destroyed in Berlin during World War II. In present-day concerts and recordings, Bach's music is typically performed along with works by his better-known brothers, C.P.E. Bach and Johann Christian Bach.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards