JOHANN JOACHIM QUANTZ (1697 - 1773)
The son of a blacksmith, Quantz had his early training, after the death of his parents, as an apprentice town musician in Merseburg. He was employed as an oboist by August II of Saxony in Dresden and in Warsaw, but sought to further his career by study of the transverse flute. At the same time he developed his abilities as a composer and his knowledge of current repertoire, with periods of study in Italy and visits to Paris and to London. In Berlin he taught the future Frederick the Great, who, on his accession to the Prussian throne in 1740, employed Quantz as a composer, principally for his own private concerts which Quantz superintended. Quantz’s treatise on flute playing has proved an informative guide to the general performance of music of the time.
Much of Quantz’s music was written for the flute, with concertos and sonatas with and without basso continuo.