Pachelbel, Johann

BORN c1653, Nürnberg, Bayern - DIED 3 Mar 1706, Nürnberg, Bayern
GRAVE LOCATION Nürnberg, Bayern: St. Rochus Friedhof, Gostenhof

Johann Pachelbel was a composer of Protestant church music. He was baptised on 11 September 1653. His father Johann Pachelbel (b.1613) was a wine dealer. His mother was Johann's second wife Anna Maria Mair. At an early age he received music lessons from Heinrich Schwemmer (1621-1696). He studied music in Altdorf and Regensburg.

In 1673 he became deputy organist at the Saint Stephen Cathedral in Vienna. In 1677 he went to Eisenach where he worked as court organist under musical director Daniel Eberlin (1647-c.1715). He befriended Johann Ambrosius Bach (1645-1695) and was a tutor to his children. He moved on to Erfurt in 1678 where he became organist at the Predigerkirche. He worked there for 12 years. In Erfurt he married Barbara Gabler on 25 October 1681. In 1683 she and their son died during a plaque. On 24 August he married Judith Drommer, the daughter of a coppersmith. They had five children.

In 1690 he found a better position at the the court in Stuttgart where he was employed by Magdalena Sibylla of Hesse-Darmstadt (1652-1712). But he left Stuttgart in 1692 when war broke out and the French attacked the city. From 1692 to 1694 he was town organist in Gotha. His former pupil Johann Christoph Bach invited him to his marriage in October 1694 in Ohrdruf and if he attended it, this was the only occasion that he met Johann Sebastian Bach, who was nine years old at the time.

He became the organist of the St. Sebaldus Church in Nürnberg. He held this position until he died in 1706. Among his pupils was Johann Christoph Bach, who later was the first teacher of his younger brother Johann Sebastian Bach. In 1695 George Caspar Wecker (b.1632), the church organist of the St. Sebaldus Church in Nuremberg died and he accepted the offer of the city to succeed him. He lived in Nuremberg until his death in 1706.


The grave of Johann Pachelbel at the Rochus cemetery, Nürnberg.
Picture by Androom (19 Aug 2003)


Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2004
Johann Pachelbel - Wikipedia

Padua, Paul Matthias

Published: 02 Jun 2010
Last update: 05 Mar 2024