Johann Adam Reincken

Johann Adam Reincken

Deventer, Deventer Municipality, Overijssel, Netherlands
Death 24 Nov 1722 (aged 99)
Hamburg, Germany
Burial Lübeck, Stadtkreis Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Memorial ID 21557337 · View Source
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Organist, Composer. One of the great keyboard virtuosos of his day, he strengthened the bonds between the Flemish and German schools of organ playing. He is best remembered for his influence on Johann Sebastian Bach. Born Jan Adam Reincken, probably in Flanders, he studied music with Jan Sweelinck's former pupil Heinrich Scheidemann. In 1658 he became Scheidemann's assistant at St. Catherine's Church in Hamburg, and succeeded him as organist there in 1663. He held this position for the rest of his long life, while also embarking on extensive concert tours of Germany and the Low Countries. Fellow organist Dietrich Buxtehude was a close friend. As a teenager in the early 1700s, J.S. Bach studied Reincken's music and made the 30-mile journey from Luneburg to Hamburg several times, on foot, to hear him play. Reincken repaid the compliment when they met at Weimar years later. After listening to Bach improvise at the organ, the venerable musician told him, "I thought this art was dead, but I see it lives on in you". His longevity and work ethic were remarkable. He refused to hire an assistant until he turned 80 and was still at his post when he died, five months shy of his 100th birthday. Unfortunately, very few of his compositions were preserved. They include the famous Fantasia "An den Wasserflussen Babylon" (c. 1675), a handful of organ and harpsichord pieces, and six suites for string consort, "Hortus musicus" (1687). Bach made keyboard arrangements of the latter.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 14 Sep 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 21557337
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Johann Adam Reincken (27 Apr 1623–24 Nov 1722), Find a Grave Memorial no. 21557337, citing Katharinenkirche, Lübeck, Stadtkreis Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .