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Johannes H.E. Koch (Composer)

Born: 1918 - Groß-Börnecke (Sachsen-Anhalt), Germany

The German composer, Johannes H.E. Koch, was raised in Leipzig, became a member of the Thomanerchor Leipzig and studied up until the outbreak of the war in the Church Music Institut of the Hochschule. His teachers were Karl Straube, Karl Hoyer, his father Hermann Ernest Koch and Johann Nepomuk David. After returning from wartime service and internment, he pursued his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold under Kurt Thomas and Günter Bialas.

As a colleague of Professor Wilhelm Ehmann, Johannes H.E Koch participated from 1948 on in setting up the State Church Music School in Herford, where he was active as a teacher of Theory and Composition until 1988. Appointed as Kirchenmusikdirektor in 1956, he also served for 25 years in the parish context as cantor and brass choir director at the church of St. Marien Stift Berg in Herford.

Johannes H.E Koch's compositions include solo, choral, brass and other instrumental music and have been brought out by numerous publishers. Besides smaller pieces aimed at church service practice he also has worked in larger forms such as the oratorios Die Bergrede, Komm Ceist der Hoffnung, der Liebe und des Friedens and Daniel, a St. John Passion, the organ cycle Evocation Catalane or the Sinfonische Episoden for large orchestra. Numerous radio and recording projects as well as the live broadcasts of his "Public Singing" in the Westdeutsche Rundfunk have made Koch known as a composer and church musician well beyond his own area. He also completed the reconstruction of J.S. Bach's Markus-Passion BWV 247 by Diethard Hellmann, by composing all the recitatives in the spirit of J.S. Bach.


Source: Liner notes to the 2-CD album 'J.S. Bach - Johannes H. E. Koch: Markus-Passion BWV 247' conducted by Mathias Michaely (Prospect, 1998)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2005)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works





Composer of recitatives

BWV 247

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Meditation "...steh bei uns in der letzen Not"

Erhalt uns, Herr bei deinem Wort

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Last update: July 28, 2014 09:00:11