Georg Philipp Telemann - Biography

Georg Philipp Telemann 
March 14, 1681, Magdeburg, Brandenburg
June 25, 1767, Hamburg, Germany
Georg Philipp Telemann was a prolific German composer of the Baroque era, with over 3,000 works to his name. He wrote all both secular and sacred music but was most famous in his lifetime for his church compositions, particularly the cantatas and large works for orchestra and soloists.

Georg Philipp Telemann Biography

Georg Philipp Telemann (March 14, 1681–June 25, 1767) was a German Baroque music composer, born in Magdeburg. Self-taught in music, he studied languages and science at the University of Leipzig. He is credited as the most prolific composer of all time and was a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach. Nowadays Bach is generally thought of as the greater composer, though Telemann was better recognized for his musical abilities during his lifetime.

Georg Philipp Telemann
Georg Philipp Telemann

Telemann was so prolific that he was never able to count the number of his compositions. He traveled widely, absorbing various musical styles and incorporating them into his own compositions.

Telemann is known for writing concertos for abnormal combinations of instruments, such as multiple violas or trumpets.

He held a series of important musical positions, culminating in that of music director of the five largest churches in Hamburg, from 1720 until his death in 1767. He was succeeded by his godson Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.


  • Der Geduldige Socrates (1721)
  • Der Schulmeister
  • Der Tod Jesu ('The death of Jesus')
  • Die Donner-Ode ('The Ode of Thunder')
  • Die Tageszeiten ('The Times of the Day')
  • Der Tag des Gerichts ('The Day of Judgement')


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