Composer. Considered the last important composer of the Baroque period, as a child in Magdeburg he taught himself to play several instruments and had his first opera performed when he was 12. After holding several posts as a composer-conductor he settled in Hamburg in 1721, where he was appointed Music Director for the city's five principal churches. He was a lifelong friend of Handel, and J. S. Bach chose him to be godfather to his son, future composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Telemann was probably the most prolific composer of all time. By the age of 40 he had already lost count of his opuses; scholars have estimated the number at around 2800, including 1700 pieces of sacred vocal music, 50 operas, 125 concertos, and scores of suites, songs, and chamber works. Once hailed as the greatest German composer of the 1700's, Telemann's reputation has long been eclipsed by Bach; indeed, his musical language became obsolete in his own lifetime. When he died at 86, Haydn and Mozart were already famous and the Classical movement was well established. But his music is still championed by performers specializing in Baroque.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards
Maria Haltmeier Telemann