Which Famous Composer Had 20 Children Including five boys named after him?
Well, the answer to this question is one and only Johann Sebastian Bach. Born on the 21st of March in the year, 1685, Eisenach, Thuringia, Ernestine Saxon Duchies in Germany, Bach and his family are quite well known in the world of music.
While Johann Sebastian Bach himself died back on July 28, 1750, his legacy and family lives on. the Bach family is considered to be among one of the greatest North German Musicians, of the Baroque Era.
In his time, Bach was considered to be an outstanding harpsichordist, organist, and expert on organ building, but now he is considered to be among the greatest of composers of all time.
Coming to the family of Bach, he was a member of a well-renowned family, to begin with. But Bach made his own family in something that we remember till today. Johann had two wives throughout his life.
The first one was Maria Barbara with whom his marriage lasted from 1707 to 1720. Just one year after Barbara, Bach married Anna Magdalena in 1721, and the marriage lasted for 29 years till 1750. During this time, Bach had over 20 kids, which is quite an achievement.
So, we shall be looking at each of these children, one by one. With this being said, let’s get into it:
1. Catharina Dorothea Bach (1708 – 1774)
Bach’s first child, Catharina Dorothea Bach was born in the year 1708, when Bach was just 23. Since Composing was out of options for ladies back in the day, Catharina showed her skills in Singing and excelled in it.
2. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710 – 1784)
Johann’s eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach was born just two years after Catharina. Through great training from his father, Wilhelm becomes a well-renowned Composer.
He also had great command over Keyboard studies and wrote one named, the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. While he was also an amazing organist, the main highlight was that he taught one of the great Johann Gottlieb Goldberg.
3 & 4. Johann Christoph Bach and Maria Sophia Bach (Born and died in 1713)
The third and Fourth children of Johann Bach were twins. Born on the 23rd of February 1713, the pair of brothers and sisters didn’t live very long and died within a few hours, and weeks respectively.
5. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788)
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was without a doubt most gifted among the children of J.S. Bach. Carl was a master of symphonies, keyboard, and choral music, as well as one of the best composers of his time.
From the baroque training of his childhood, Carl grew to become one of the best clavier players in entire Europe. Another notable thing is that Carl despite being amazing in the field of music, also had a degree in Law.
In addition to this, Carl was also the court Musician to Frederick The great and accompanied the king’s flute solos with Keyboard. While Frederick was great with Flute, he thought of himself as much higher than that and often took freedom of setting the Tempo. It was once seen in the royal performance, that Carl Bach has muttered under his breath “What rhythms!” to a delighted sycophant’s exclaim, “Your Majesty, what rhythm!”.
6. Johann Gottfried Bernhard Bach (1715 – 1739)
Johann Gottfried Bach, born on 11 May 1715 while carrying the first name of his father, didn’t carry his dream. J.G.B Bach was a great musician by every account, but he abandoned his musical career for his love of law. Unfortunately, Johann Gottfried Bernhard Bach died at the young age of 24.
7. Leopold Augustus Bach (1718 – 1719)
7th child of the family, Leopold Augustus, was born on the 15th of November. However, he lived for just 10 months. He was named after his godfather, a prince who also bore the name Leopold.
8. Christina Sophia Henrietta (1723 – 1726)
Following the Death of Maria Barbara, Johann Bach married Anna Magdalena Wilcke just a year later. And their first child, a daughter, was born in the year 1723. Nevertheless, the girl died just 3 years later in 1726.
This was during the same time; Bach had signed a contract to become the Thomaskantor in Leipzig.
9. Gottfried Heinrich Bach (1724 – 1763)
It is believed that Gottfried was mentally handicapped in some form. The signs of the same were noticed at an early age. But Gottfried has many supportive siblings, and one of them exclaimed, that he was a ‘great genius, which failed to develop’.
10. Christian Gottlieb Bach (1725 – 1728)
Christian was another one of Bach’s children who lived a shorter life. Being born in the year 1725, he survived just 3 years till 1728.
11. Elisabeth Juliana Friederica (1726 – 1781)
The year 1726 was considered to be a year of joy as well as of tragedy for the family of Johann Bach. For just 2 months following the birth Elisabeth, her elder sister died at the age of 3. Unlike Christiana, Elisabeth will live a full life and would marry one of his father’s pupils.
12. Ernestus Andreas Bach (Born and died in 1727)
Ernestus was another among many tragically short-lived children of Johann Bach with his second wifi. He was born in 1727 and died in the same year.
13. Regina Johanna Bach (1728 – 1733)
14. Christiana Benedicta Louise (Born and died in 1730)
15. Christiana Dorothea Bach (1731 – 1732)
Not much is known about the previous four of bach’s children who died at a very young age.
16. Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (1732 – 1795)
After a period of tragedy when quite a few children of Bach died, the ninth son Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach was born. Despite carrying the same name as his father he was often called the “buckeburg Bach”.
Needless to say, J.C.F. Bach was a prodigy when it came to composing music. His pieces were highly influenced by Italian music.
17. Johann August Abraham Bach (Born and died in 1733)
Named after Johann himself, this child too would only survive a day, following his Baptism on the 5th of November.
18. Johann Christian Bach (1735 – 1782)
Johann Christian Bach came to be known as J.C. Bach as on his voyage to Italy, he converted to Roman Catholic Christina, before settling down in London. He served then queen Charlotte.
19. Johanna Carolina Bach (1737 – 1781)
20. Regina Susanna Bach (1742 – 1809)
The two last children of Bach, both daughters, survived into adulthood, but none of them married. While not much is known about Johanna, Regina is said to be acquainted with Beethoven.