Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann

Composer

Georg Philipp Telemann (14 March 1681 – 25 June 1767) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family’s wishes. After studying in MagdeburgZellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzigto study law, but eventually settled on a career in music. He held important positions in LeipzigŻaryEisenach, and Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of the city’s five main churches. While Telemann’s career prospered, his personal life was always troubled: his first wife died only a few months after their marriage, and his second wife had extramarital affairs and accumulated a large gambling debt before leaving Telemann.

Telemann was one of the most prolific composers in history (at least in terms of surviving oeuvre) and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time—he was compared favorably to Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel (both of whom Telemann knew personally). Telemann’s music incorporates several national styles: French, Italian, and Polish. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies and his music is an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles.

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