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Johann Lorentz (Composer)

Born: c1610 - Flensburg [now in Germany]
Died: April 19, 1689 - Copenhagen, Denmark

Johann [Johan, Johannes] Lorentz (ii) was a Danish organist and composer, son of Johann Lorentz (i). He became organist of Vor Frue Kirke, Copenhagen, in 1629 on the recommendation of King Christian IV. He was granted leave of absence to study in Italy and Germany from 1631 to 1633. During this period he may have studied in Hamburg with Jacob Praetorius, whose daughter he married in 1635 and to whose position of organist at St Petri, Hamburg, he was elected in 1651. He chose, however, to remain in his post as organist of St Nikolai, Copenhagen, which he had assumed in 1634 or 1635 and which he held until his death. He was also organist of Holmens Kirke. He and his family died in the fire that destroyed the opera house erected to celebrate King Christian V's birthday in 1689.

Johann Lorentz introduced weekday concerts at St Nikolai, where his playing on the fine organ built by his father earned him a reputation as ‘organist second to none in Europe’. According to Pirro he taught Dietrich Buxtehude, but there is no evidence for this claim. Only a few short organ pieces by him survive (at DK-Kk and S-Uu; ed. B. Lundgren, Lund, 1960); most are dance movements, and they seem to have been intended for teaching purposes.


Source: Grove Music Online, © Oxford University Press 2006, acc. 9/7/06 (Author: John Bergsagel)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (August 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Vater unser im Himmelreich, for organ

Vater unser im Himmelreich

Links to other Sites



A. Pirro: Dietrich Buxtehude (Paris, 1913/R)
B. Lundgren: ‘Johan Lorentz in Kopenhagen – organista nulli in Europa secundus’, IMSCR VII: Cologne 1958, 183-4

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