The Brothers Bach

Click on a name below to learn more

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach headshot

The famous brother, Emanuel "wrote the book" on keyboard playing and distinguished himself as an inspired improviser. The great Classical masters acknowledged their debt to him. Never at a loss for a musical idea and a host of ways to express it, he created a body of piano music rivalled only by Haydn's for imagination and craft, yet many pianists are scarcely aware of his work. To honor his 300th anniversary year, we'll do our best to rectify that.

Close this pane

Wilhelm Friedmann Bach headshot

The eldest brother, Friedemann struggled to find stability in his life yet amassed a respectable record of professional achievement as an organist and composer.

Close this pane

Johann Christian headshot

The rebellious brother, Christian left Germany, mastered the idioms of Italian opera, traded Lutheranism for Catholicism, and climbed to the apex of London musical society as the Queen's music master, yet he left a widow in penury.

Close this pane

Johann Christoph Friedrich headshot

The quiet brother, Christoph Friedrich settled into service at the small court of Bückeburg and spent his days composing in the fashionable genres and styles.

Close this pane