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Timeline

Year Age Events in Bach's Life Contemporary Musicians Source: "Bach" by Malcolm Boyd (Schirmer 1983, 1997) 1685 Johann Sebastian Bach born, 21 March, at Eisenach. Youngest child of Johann Ambrosius Bach, town and court musician, and his wife Maria Elisabetha, ne Lmmerhirt. Baptised, 23 March. Handel born, 23 Feb D. Scarlatti born, 26 Oct. Albinoni aged 14 Biber 41 Blow 36 Bhm 24 G. Bononcini 15 Buxtehude 48 Caldara c. 15 Charpentier c40 Corelli 32 Couperin 17 Fux 25 Graupner 2 Heinichen 2 Keiser 11 Kerll 58 J.P. Krieger 36 Kuhnau 25 Lalande 28 Legrenzi 59 Lully 53 A. Marcello 1 Marchand 16 Mattheson 4 Pachelbel 32 Pasquini 48 Purcell 26 Rameau 2 Reincken 62 A. Scarlatti 25 Steffani 31 Telemann 4 Vivaldi 7 J.G. Walther 1 Zelenka 6. B. Marcello born, 24 July or 1 Aug Porpora born, 17 Aug. Sylvius Leopold Weiss born, 21 Oct. Geminiani bapt. 5 Dec Lully (54) dies, 22 March Pisendel born, 26 Dec. Fasch born, 15 April. Boismortier born, 23 Dec. Legrenzi (63) dies, 17 May

1686

1687

1688 1689 1690 1691 1692 1693 1694 1695 1696 1697 1698 1699 1700 1701 1702 1703 1704 1705 1706 1707 1708 1709 1710

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Second child, Wilhelm Friedemann, born, 22 Nov. Granted 4 weeks leave of absence to visit Lbeck in ?Oct, but stays away longer. Applies unsuccessfully for organist's post at Jakobirche, Sangerhausen Court musician at Weimar, March-Sept. Appointed organist at Neuekirche, Arnstadt, 9 Aug. Leaves Ohrdruf for Lneburg. Enrols in Michaelisschule there. Mother (50) dies, 1 May. Father (49) dies, 20 Feb. Bach leaves Eisenach to live with brother, Johann Christoph (24), in Ohrdruf. Enters lyceum there. Enters Lateinschule, Eisenach.

Tartini born, 8 April. Kerll (65) dies, 13 Feb.

Locatelii born, 3 Sept. Purcell (36) dies, 21 Nov.

Leclair born, 10 May Quantz born, 30 Jan.

Hasse bapt. 25 March B.G. Sammartini born (or 1701)

C.H. Graun born (or 1704) Harrer born, 8 May Biber (59) dies, 3 May Charpentier (c.59) dies, 24 Feb.

Returns to Arnstadt, Jan/Feb. Appears before the consistory to answer for length of Martini born, 24 April absence. Pachelbel (52) buried, 9 March Appointed organist at Blasiuskirche, Mhlhausen, 15 June. Marries Marie Barbara Bach (23) at Dornheim, 17 Oct. Appointed organist and chamber musician to Duke Wilhelm Ernst at Weimar, June. First child, Catharina Dorotheo, bapt. 29 Dec. Buxtehude (c.70) dies, 1 Oct. Blow (59) dies, 1 Oct. F. Benda bapt., 22 Nov. Arne bapt., 28 May Pasquini (72) dies, 21 Nov. Pergolesi born, 4 Jan. Boyce born, Sept.

1711 1712 1713

26 27 28 Visits Weissenfels, Feb. Third and fourth children (twins), Johann Christoph and Maria Sophia, born 23 Feb, and die, 23 Feb and c.13 March. Bach competes for organist's post at Halle, Dec. Declines offer of Halle post, Feb, and is promoted to Konzertmeister at Weimar, 2 March. Fifth child, Carl Philipp Emanuel, born, 8 March. Sixth child, Johann Gottfried Berhard, born, 11 May. Examines new organs at Liebfrauenkirche, Halle, 29 April - 2 May, and Augustinerkirche, Erfurt, July. Appointed Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold at Cthen, 5 Aug., but is at first prevented by Duke Wilhelm Ernst from taking up the post. Visits Dresden and accepts invitation to take part in contest with Marchand. Is imprisoned by Wilhelm Ernst, 6 Nov., but then allowed to leave Weimar, 2 Dec. Examines organ in Paulinerkirche, Leipzig, 16 Dec. Visits Karlsbad with Prince Leopold, May-June. Seventh child, Leopold Augustus, born, 15 Nov. Death of son, Leopold Augustus (10 months); buried, 29 Sept. Visits Karlsbad, May-July. Wife (35) dies; buried 7 July. Bach visits Hamburg, Nov., and is offered post as organist at the Jakobikirche, which he declines. Brandenburg Concertos dedicated to Margrave Christian Ludwig, 24 March. Marries Anna Magdalena Wilcke (20) at Cthen, 3 Dec. Prince Leopold (27) marries Frederica Henrietta von Anhalt-Bernburg (19) at Bernburg, 11 Dec. Brother, Johann Jacob (40) dies, 16 April. Bach enters candidature for cantorate at Leipzig, Dec. Eighth child, Christina Sophia Henrietta, born. Bach signs contract as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, 5 May. Arrives in Leipzig with family, 22 May. Cantata 75 performed in Nikolaikirche, 30 May. Exaines organ at Strmthal, Nov. Magnificat (BWV243a) performed in Thomaskirche, 25 Dec. Ninth child, Gottfried Heinrich, born, 26 Feb. St. John Passion performed in Nikolaikirche, 7 April. Examines organ in Johanniskirche, Gera, 25 June. Tenth child, Christian Gottlieb, bapt., 14 April. Bach gives organ recitals in Sophienirche, Dresden, 19-20 Sept. Visits Cthen, 15 Dec. Eleventh child, Elisabeth Juliana Friederika, bapt., 5 April. Daughter, Christiana Sophia Henrietta (3) dies, 29 June. Partita I (BWV 825) published, Michaelmas. St. Mathew Passion performed in Thomaskirche, 11 April (?). Trauer Ode (BWV 198) performed, 17 Oct, at memorial ceremony for Electress Christiane Eberhardine (died, 4 Sept.). Bach's twelfth child, Ernestus Andreas, bapt., 30 Oct. dies, 1 Nov. Son, Christian Gottlieb (3), dies, 21 Sept. Thirteenth child, Regina Johanna, bapt., 10 Oct. Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cthen (33) dies, 19 Nov. Bach's sister, Marie Salome Wiegand (ne Bach) (51), dies in Erfurt, buried 27 Dec.

Corelli (59) dies, 8 Jan J.L. Krebs bapt., 12 Oct. Gluck born, 2 July Jommelli born, 10 Sept. Doles born, 23 April Wagenseil born, 29 Jan.

1714 1715 1716 1717

29 30 31 32

J. Stamitz bapt., 19 June.

1718 1719 1720 1721

33 34 35 36

L. Mozart born, 14 Nov. J.F. Agricola born, 4 Jan. Altnikol bapt., 1 Jan. Kirnberger born, 24 April.

1722

37

G. Benda bapt., 30 June Kuhnau (62) dies, 5 June Reincken (99) dies, 24 Nov. Gassmann born, 3 May.

1723

38

1724 1725 1726 1727

39 40 41 42

J.P. Krieger (75) dies, 6 Feb A. Scarlatti (65) dies, 22 Oct. Lalande (68) dies, 18 June. Traetta born, 30 March.

1728

43

Piccinni born, 16 Jan Steffani (73) dies, 12 Feb.

1729

44

Bach visits Weissenfels, Feb. Visits Cthen to perform funeral music for Prince Heinichen (46) dies, 16 July. Leopld, 23-4 March. St. Matthew Passion performed (for second? time) in Thomaskirche, 15 April. Disputes with council over admission of unmusical pupils to Thomasschule. Bach assumes direction of collegium musicum. Illness prevents his visiting Handel in Halle, June. Rektor of Thomasschule, J.H. Ernesti (77) dies, 16 Oct. Fourteenth child, Christiana Benedicta Louise, baptised, 1 Jan.; dies, 4 Jan.; Bach addresses memorandum on church music to town council, 23 Aug., and letter to Erdmann seeking possible employment in Gdansk, 28 Oct.. J.M. Gesner appointed Rektor of the Thomasschule, 8 Sept.. Clavier-bung I (BWV825-30) published. Fifteenth child, Christiana Dorothea, baptised, 18 March. St Mark Passion performed in Thomaskirche, 23 March. Bach gives organ recitals in Dresden, 14-21 Sept. Examines organ at Stntzsch, 12 Nov. Sixteenth child, Johann Christoph Friedrich, born 21 June. Daughter, Christiana Dorothea (1), dies, 31 Aug. Bach examines organ in Martinskirche, Kassel, 22-8 Sept. Daughter, Regina Johanna (4), dies 25 April. Son, Wilhelm Friedemann (23), appointed organist at Sophienkirche, Dresden, 23 June. Bach visits Dresden, July, and presents Missa (BWV232) to the Elector Friedrich August II. Seventeenth child, Johann August Abraham, bapt., 5 Nov; dies, 6 Nov. Cannabich bapt., 28 Dec.

1730

45

1731

46

1732

47

Haydn born, 31 March; Marchand (63) dies, 17 Feb. Bhm (71) dies, 18 May; Couperin (64) dies, 11 Sept.

1733

48

1734 1735

49 50

J.A. Ernesti (27) appointed Rektor of the Thomasschule. Christmas Oratorio, parts Gossec born, 17 Jan. I-III performed 25, 26, 27 Dec. Christmas Oratoria, parts IV-VI performed, 1, 2, 6 Jan. Clavier-bung II (BWV971, 831) published, May. Bach examines organ in Marienkirche, Mlhausen, June, where his son Gottfried Bernhard (20) is appointed organist, 16 June. Bach's eighteenth child, Johann Christian, born, 5 Sept. 'Battle of the prefects' with Ernesti begins, July. Appointed Hofcompositeur to the Elector of Saxony, 19 Nov. Gives organ recital in Frauenkirche, Dresden, 1 Dec. Caldar (c.66) dies, 28 Dec; Pergolesi (26) dies, 16 March.

1736 1737

51 52

Son, Johann Gottfried Bernhard (22), appointed organist at the Jakobikirche, Myslivecek born, 9 March. Sangerhausen, 4 April. Bach temporarily relinquishes directorship of the collegium musicum, Spring. J.A. Schiebe publishes adverse criticism of Bach's music. Johann Elias Bach joins Bach's household as tutor and secretary, ?Oct. Nineteenth child, Johanna Carolina, bapt., 30 Oct. Son, Carl Philipp Emanuel (24), appointed harpsichordist to crown prince Frederick of Prussia. Bach visits Dresden, May. Son, Johann Gottfried Bernhard (23) contracts debts at Sangerhausen and absconds. Son, Johann Gottfried Bernhard (24), dies, 27 May. Bach gives organ recital in the Schlosskirche, Altenburg. Clavier-bung III published, Sept. Resumes as director of the collegium musicum, 2 Oct. Visits Weissenfels with Anna Magdalena, 7-14 Nov. Visits Halle, April. Visits son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, in Berlin, Aug. Anna Magdalena seriously ill. Bach visits Dresden, Nov. Clavier-bung IV published (or 1742). Twentieth child, Regina Susanna, bapt., 22 Feb. Johann Elias Bach leaves Leipzig, 31 Oct. Examines organ in Johanniskirche, Leipzig, Dec. Son, Carl Philipp Emanuel (30), marries Johanna Maria Dannemann (20) in Berlin. First grandchild, Johann August Bach, born, 10 Dec. Son, Wilhelm Friedemann (36), appointed organist at the Liebfrauenkirche, Halle, 16 April. Bach examines organ in Wenselskirche, Naumburg, 27 Sept. Visits court of Frederick the Great at Potsdam, 7-8 May, and gives organ recital in teh Heiliggeistkirche there, 8 May. Composes and published (Sept.) the Musical Offering. Joins Mizler's Society of Musical Sciences, June, for which he composes the Canonic Variations (BWV869). Bononcini (76) dies, 9 July. Zelenka (66) dies, 22 Dec. Boccherini born, 19 Feb. Dittersdorf born, 2 Nov.; Keiser (65) dies, 12 Sept; B. Marcello (52/53) dies, 24/25 July; Vanhal born, 12 May. Paisiello born, 9 May. Fux (c.80) dies, 13 Feb.; Grtry born, 8 Feb.; Vivaldi (63) dies, 28 July.

1738

53

1739

54

1740 1741 1742 1743 1744 1745 1746 1747

55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62

1748 1749

63 64

J.G. Walther (63) dies, 23 March. Daughter, Elisabeth Juliana Frederica (23), marries Johann Christoph Altnikol (29) Cimarosa born, 17 Dec. in Leipzig, 20 Jan. Harrer performs Probe in Leipzig, with a view to succeeding Bach as Thomaskantor, 8 June. Son, Johann Christoph Friedrich (18), appointed court musician at Bckeburg, Jan. Bach occupied engraving the Art of Fugue. Operated on by oculist, John Taylor, March-April. Takes final communion, 22 July, and dies, 28 July. Buried in graveyard of the Johanniskirche, 31 July. A. Marcello (66) dies; Agricola aged 30; Albinoni 79; Altnikol 30; Arne 40; F. Benda 41; G. Benda 28; Boccherini 7; Boismortier 61; Boyce 39; Dittersdorf 11; Doles 35; Fasch 62; Gassmann 27; Geminiani 63; Gluck 36; Gossec 16; C.H. Graun c.47; Graupner 67; Grtry 9; Harrer 47; Hasse 51; Haydn 18; Jommelli 36; Kirnberger 29; J.L. Krebs 37; Leclair 53; Locatelli 55; Martini 44; L. Mozart 31; Myslivecek 13; Paisiello 10; Piccinni 22; Pisendel 63; Porpora 64; Quantz 53; Rameau 67; Sammartini c.50; J. Stamitz 33; Tartini 58; Telemann 69; Traetta 23; Vanhal 11; Wagenseil 35; Weiss 64 (dies)

1750

65

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