Johann Christian Bach settled in London in 1762 after acquiring extensive experience in Italy. His Six Sonatas, op. 5, are signposts towards the future classical piano sonata. Bach wrote them for the “Hammerflügel”, which was still a very new instrument at that time; he esteemed the instrument and frequently performed on it in public. On his own London concert tour the young Mozart manifested his enthusiasm for the piano works of the so-called “London” Bach. He was so enchanted by them that he reworked Sonatas 2-4 into piano concertos, known today as K. 107.
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Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782), Johann Sebastian’s youngest son, continued his musical studies in Berlin as a pupil of his brother, Carl Philipp Emanuel, after his father’s death. In 1756 he went to Italy. After having achieved success there as a composer, his output also extending to the field of opera, J. C. Bach settled in London in 1762 where he officiated as Music … more
About the composer
Johann Christian Bach
Youngest and (in the eighteenth century) most famous son of Johann Sebastian; he was a well-known composer of operas and played a significant role in the concert life of London. He composed in all genres, his immense oeuvre representing the most important compositional trends of his age in its transition to Classical composition.
|1735||Born in Leipzig on September 5. His first music lessons probably from his father. After the latter’s death in 1750 he moves to Potsdam to the home of his brother Carl Philipp Emanuel, who continues teaching him.|
|from 1755||He embarks for Italy to continue his studies; he takes lessons with Martini in Bologna, composes primarily sacred music, and also writes arias and overtures for operatic productions in Milan.|
|1757||He converts to Catholicism.|
|1760||Employed as second organist at Milan cathedral. Performances of his operas in the most important cities in Italy: including “Artaserse” in Turin in 1760, “Catone in Utica” in 1761, and “Alessandro nell’Indie” in 1762, both in Naples.|
|1762||He moves to London, where he will live the rest of his life as a freelance composer.|
|from 1764||Founds an extremely successful and, in the history of the concert, significant concert series with the composer and gamba player Carl Friedrich Abel (the “Bach-Abel Concerts”). Composes symphonies, sinfonie concertanti, and solo concerti. Also operas, pasticci, and transcriptions for the King’s Theatre, including the serenata “Endimione” in 1772, the opera “La clemenza di Scipione” in 1778. Premiere in Mannheim of “Temistocle” in 1772 and of “Lucio Silla” in 1775.|
|1779||Premiere in Paris of his only tragédie lyrique, “Amadis de Gaule,” to little acclaim.|
|1782||Death in London on January 1.|