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Johann Gottlieb Graun (Composer)

Born: 1702/1703 - Wahrenbrück, Brandenburg, Germany
Died: October 27, 1771 - Berlin, Germany

Johann Gottlieb Graun was a German Baroque/Classical era composer and violinist. He studied the violin and composition with Johann Georg Pisendel in Dresden. Like his brother Carl Heinrich Graun, he sang at the Kreuzschule, enrolled in Leipzig University, and travelled to Prague in 1723, where he studied with Giuseppe Tartini (c 1723-4).

In 1726/1727 J.G. Graun was appointed Konzertmeister in Merseburg, where he taught the violin to J.S. Bach's oldest son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. In 1728 he performed at court at Berlin. He served Prince von Waldek at Arolsen, before joining his younger brother, Carl Heinrich Graun, in the musical establishment of Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia in Ruppin in 1732. He moved with the orchestra to Rheinsburg in 1736 and finally to Berlin in 1740 when Frederick became King (Frederick the Great). J.G. Graun led the violins (Konzertmeister) in the Berlin opera orchestra and was also a chamber musician at court, remaining at Berlin until his death.

One of the foremost German instrumental composers of the pre-Classical era, J.G. Graun wrote c 400 works, including overtures, symphonies, solo concertos (mainly for violin and harpsichord), concerti grossi, trio sonatas and quartets (very few of them printed). The symphonies have a fresh, individual style, and use clear sonata forms. He also composed sacred music, solo cantatas and songs. J.G. Graun is mentioned in a letter (1775) from Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to Forkel as one whose works his father had especially valued in his later years.

His older brother August Friedrich (1698/1699-1765), a musician at Merseburg, was also a composer; and his younger brother Carl Heinrich Graun (1703/1704-1759) was also a composer and singer.


Source: (from Music Encyclopedia); Wikipedia Website; Sojurn Website; HOASM Website; Malcom Boyd, editor: Oxford Composer Companion J.S. Bach (Oxford University Press, 1999)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2008)

Works performed by J.S. Bach

Trio Sonata in C Minor - performed by J.S. Bach & Collegium Musicum in Leipzig c1741

Links to other Sites

Johann Gottlieb Graun (Wikipedia)
Graun, Johann Gottlieb: Biography (Sojurn)
Johann Gottlieb Graun (Britannica Online Encyclopedia)

HOASM: Johann Gottlieb Graun
Johann Gottlieb Graun (



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