Graun Johann Gottlieb

Graun Johann Gottlieb
1703 - 28.10.1771


Graun was born in Wahrenbrück. His brother Carl Heinrich was also a composer and singer. He studied with J.G. Pisendel in Dresden, and Giuseppe Tartini in Padua. Appointed Konzertmeister in Merseburg in 1726, he taught the violin to J.S. Bach's son Wilhelm Friedemann. He joined the court of the Prussian crown prince (who later became Frederick the Great) in 1732 and was made Konzertmeister of the Berlin Opera in 1740.

Graun was a highly respected violinist and composer, whose works continued to be performed after his death. "The concert-master, John Gottlib Graun, brother to the opera-composer, his admirers say, 'was one of the greatest performers on the violin of his time, and most assuredly, a composer of the first rank'," wrote Charles Burney. As a composer, he was primarily known for his instrumental works, though he also wrote vocal music and operas.[2] He wrote a large number of violin concertos, trio sonatas, and solo sonatas for violin with cembalo, and also wrote two string quartets - among the earliest attempts in this genre. He also wrote many concertos for viola da gamba, which were very virtuosic, and were played by Ludwig Christian Hesse, considered the leading gambist of the time.

Despite the popularity of his works, Graun was not free from criticism. Burney noted, "In his concertos and church music... the length of each movement is more immoderate than Christian patience can endure."

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