Composer. Born in Denmark, he spent most of his life in Germany, where he was organist at Lubeck's St. Mary's Church after 1668. In 1673 he founded the Abendmusiken ("Evening Music"), a series of concerts performed on the five Sundays before Christmas; this became an annual traditon in Lubeck that lasted 137 years. The most famous organ virtuoso of his time, Buxtehude strongly influenced Handel, and J. S. Bach once walked 200 miles to hear him play. Both men wanted to take Buxtehude's position at St. Mary's but refused to marry his daughter, a condition for the job. He was entombed at St. Mary's, which was gutted by Allied bombing in 1942; a plaque marks the approximate spot of his resting place. Buxtehude's importance as a composer lies in his organ works, many of which are still played today. He also helped introduce the church cantata, an Italian invention, to Germany.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards