Johann Christian Bach

Masonic Biographies

Johann Christian Bach

Born: Monday, 05 September 1735
Died: Tuesday, 01 January 1782

Johann Christian Bach was a gifted musician, composer, and Freemason who created undying music for the world.

Known as the "English Bach," Johann Christian Bach was the youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. A gifted musician and composer, Johann Christian was born on September 5, 1735 in Leipzig, Germany, when his famous father was fifty years old. Despite their age difference, Father Johann was a dedicated instructor of his talented son, serving as his teacher and mentor until his death in 1750.

Johann Christian returned the favor by tutoring another gifted musician and future freemason: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In 1764, eight-year-old Mozart began studying under Bach's instruction. The two spent five months where Bach taught Mozart in musical composition. Bach's influence on Mozart was so influential that Bach was later regarded as Mozart's only true teacher, and in his later years, Mozart often spoke of his gratitude for the instruction he received from J.C. Bach.

Adept at composing for many different instruments with varying arrangements, Brother Bach crafted cantatas, chamber music, orchestral works, operas, and symphonies. In 1754, J.C. Bach moved to Italy where converted to Catholicism and spent significant time composing religious music, including Requiems, Te Deums, and Masses. Due to the critical acclaim of these compositions, Bach was appointed Organist of Milan Cathedral in 1760. Two years later, Bach moved to London where he premiered three operas, including Orione, at the King's Theatre and was appointed Composer for the Theatre, establishing his reputation of excellence in England. This adoration caught the attention of the Monarchy, eventually being called to position of Music Master for Queen Charlotte and the royal family.

A versatile and well-regarded composer, J.C. Bach's music was famous for its operatic and gallant style. By the late 1770s, however, Bach's interests became increasingly spiritual, and he was initiated into Freemasonry in 1778 in the Lodge of Nine Muses, No. 235. Brother Johann Christian Bach received his summons to the Eternal Grand Lodge on New Year's Day 1782, after a lifetime of creating undying music for the world.

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