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David Nicolai (Bach's Pupil)

Born: Faebruary 22, 1702 - Görlitz, about 90 km easst of Dresden, Saxony, Germany
Died: November 25, 1764 - Görlitz, Saxony, Germany

David Nicolai was a German organist. He studied with the organist C.L. Boxberg (1670-17299) in Görlitz, asnd at the University of Leipzig from 1727 to 1729, and studied privately with J.S. Bach in Leipzig during this time. In 1729 he approached J.S. Bach for testimonial in support of his application to succeed Boxberg ass organist at the Petrikirche (Görlitz) in Görlitz, and was appointed there the following year (1730).

His son, David Traugott Nicolai [Nikolai] (1733-1799) was an organist and composer. He studied music under his father, went to the Görlitz Gymnasium and from 1753 to 1755 read law, physics and mathematics at the University of Leipzig. From 1758 he assisted his father and in 1764 succeeded him as organist of the Hauptkirche; in 1775 he became electoral court organist. In his time he was considered ‘one of the greatest living organ players’ (GerberL), and was respected as an improviser as well as an expert in organ building. He constructed several models of a keyboard musical glasses that attracted attention when he demonstrated it in 1784. From 1796 he was assisted as organist by his eldest son, Carl Samuel Traugott Nicolai, who succeeded him. Among Nicolai’s few compositions are a Fantasie und Fuge for organ (Dresden and Leipzig, 1789), other organ fugues and piano sonatas, mostly published in collections, and cantatas.


Source: Grove Music Online (Author: Gunter Hempel; Accessed: June 22, 2014) Copyright © Oxford University Press 2007-2014; Oxford Composer Companions J.S. Bach (Editor: Malcolm Boyd, OUP, 1999); fine-print footnotes in the Bach-Dokumente
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2014); Thomas Braatz (January 2011, June 2014)

Bach's Pupils: List of Bach's Pupils | Actual and Potential Non-Thomaner Singers and Players who participated in Bach’s Figural Music in Leipzig | Bach’s Pupils - Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2

Links to other Sites



MGG1 (R. Eller) | GerberL | SchillingE
M. Gondolatsch: Görlitzer Musikleben in vergangenen Zeiten (Görlitz, 1914)

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Bach & Other Composers


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Last update: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 23:37