Born: June 19, 1708; Schweidnitz, Poland
Died: 1763; Berlin, Germany
Johann Gottlieb Janitsch was a popular composer among his contemporaries, holding important positions with the Prussian Court. At the age of twenty-one he matriculated from the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, and took part in the musical life at this institution. One of his serenades was performed before Frederich Wilhelm I. Later Janitsch presented a similar concert before Crown Prince Frederick. He was a secretary to Franz Wilhelm vonRead more Happe and became a personal musician in the orchestra of Frederick The Great. Janitsch eventually assumed the position of contraviolinist, moved with Frederick to Berlin and remained there until his death. In the court he instituted the series of "Friday Academies" which inspired Schale's "Monday Assemblies" and Agricola's "Saturday Concerts." Janitsch was commissioned to compose music for a number of important courtly occasions which helped him refine his use of style galant. He composed sonatas for harpsichord and organ, illustrating a keen awareness of counterpoint, but lacking in melodic innovation. Most of Janitsch's work is considered lost, as after his death his manuscripts were willed to the Berlin Singakademie, which was plundered during World War II. Word has it that a number of manuscript sources originating from the Singakademie have been located in the Ukraine; perhaps these will improve Janitsch's standing once they are catalogued and performed. Read less
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