Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Poets & Composers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Bach & Other Composers

Johann Gottlieb Görner (Composer)

Born: baptised April 16, 1697 - Penig, Saxony, Germany
Died: February 15, 1778 - Leipzig, Saxony, Germany

Johann Gottlieb Görner was a German composer and organist. He came from an old Saxon family of musicians. In 1712 he went to the Thomasschule, Leipzig where he received tuition in music from Johann Kuhnau. In 1713 he registered at Leipzig University and in 1716, while still a student, he became organist at the Paulinerkirche (the university church).

In 1721 Johann Gottlieb Görner was appointed organist at the Nikolaikirche and at the end of that year moved to the Thomaskirche, where (again as organist) he worked for J.S. Bach, and later for the Thomaskantors Johann Gottlob Harrer and Johann Friedrich Doles. In April 1723, just a few weeks before J.S. Bach took over as Thomaskantor, Görner was granted the title and function of Director musices by Leipzig University. This led to a three-year argument with the Thomaskantor, who regarded this position as being, by precedent, his own. As a result of this difference of opinion, which involved even the Elector of Saxony, Görner was confirmed as musical director of the ‘new’ services and J.S. Bach as director of the ‘old’. The conflict between J.S. Bach and his Thomaskirche organist was evidently confined to their professional lives; their personal friendship seems to have remained intact. In fact, J.S. Bach's widow, Anna Magdalena, asked Görner to be guardian to her four young children in October 1750, which indicates that the two men had remained friends. After J.S. Bach's death Görner applied unsuccessfully to succeed him as Thomaskantor.

From 1723 to 1756 Johann Gottlieb Görner directed the second ‘ordinary’ student collegium musicum, founded by Johann Friedrich Fasch, performing many secular cantatas in Leipzig coffee-houses. From 1764 to 1769 he was also active as musical director of the so-called Gelehrtenkonzert (university concerts), in competition with the Grosses Concert. Görner's achievements as a composer have not yet been fully researched. The crushing appraisal by J.A. Scheibe in his Critische Musikus (1737) is more a personal criticism of the composer than an objective assessment of his musical worth.


Source: Copyright © Oxford University Press (2007-2012; Author: Andreas Glöckner; accessed: July 3, 2012)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (July 2012)

Links to other Sites



J.A. Scheibe: Der Critische Musikus (Hamburg, 1738-40, 2/1745/R), 60–61
A. Werner: ‘Mitteilungen’, BJb 1906, 130–33, esp. 132
B.F. Richter: ‘Joh. Seb. Bach und die Universit
ät zu Leipzig’, BJb 1925, 1-10
A. Schering: J.S. Bach und das Musikleben Leipzigs im 18. Jahrhundert, Musikgeschichte Leipzigs, iii (
Leipzig, 1941/R)
W. Neumann: ‘Das Bachische Collegium Musicum”’, BJb 1960, 5–27
W. Neumann and
Hans-Joachim Schulze, eds.: Bach-Dokumente, i, ii (Kassel, 1963-9)

Biographies of Poets & Composers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Bach & Other Composers


Back to the Top

Last update: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 14:41