Uncertain (probably Oldesloe, Holstein)
May 9, 1707 in Lübeck
Also known as:
Composer and organist of German or Danish origin, highly-regarded composer of church music who influenced other composers after him including Johann Sebastian Bach.
Type of Compositions:
Buxtehude wrote instrumental, vocal music (especially cantatas for the German Protestant liturgy) and organ works (including preludes and fugues).
Details of his childhood are uncertain, but his early influence may have been his father who was an organist and school master. Buxtehude would later follow in his fathers' footsteps; becoming organist of St. Mary’s Church in Lubeck, north of Germany. His post required that he marry the daughter of Franz Tunder, his predecessor, a condition Buxtehude readily complied with. He remained organist at St. Mary's Church for nearly 40 years, gaining fame and inspiring young composers such as Handel and Bach. Handel visited him in 1703 and Bach did the same two years later.
Bach is said to have walked from Thuringia to Lubeck (more than 200 miles) to hear Buxtehude play.
Listen to Dietrich Buxtehude's cantata, "Ad genua," from "Membra Jesu Nostri" courtesy of YouTube.