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One of the most profoundly inspired and masterful composers in history Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a musical family in Eisenach Thuringia - until recently part of East Germany His father Johann Ambrosius Bach was a talented violinist and taught his son the basic skills of string-playing another relation the organist at Eisenachs most important church instructed the young boy on the organ In 1695 Johann Sebastian was orphaned he went to live with his older brother Johann Christoph in Ohrdruf Johann Christoph was a professional organist and continued his younger brothers education on that instrument as well as on the harpsichord After several years in this arrangement Johann Sebastian won a scholarship to study in Luneberg Northern Germany and so left his brothers tutelage A master of several instruments while still in his teens Johann Sebastian first found employment at the age of 18 as a lackey and violinist in a court orchestra in Weimar soon after he took the job of organist at a church in Arnstadt Here as in later posts his perfectionist tendencies and high expectations of other musicians - for example the church choir - rubbed his colleagues the wrong way and he was embroiled in a number of hot disputes during his short tenure In 1707 at the age of 22 Bach became fed up with the lousy musical standards of Arnstadt and the working conditions and moved on to another organist job this time at the St Blasius Church in Muhlhausen The same year he married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach Again caught up in a running conflict between factions of his church Bach fled to Weimar after one year in Muhlhausen In Weimar he assumed the post of organist and concertmaster in the ducal chapel He remained in Weimar for nine years and there he composed his first wave of major works including organ showpieces and cantatas By this stage in his
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