Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quantz, the finest flutist in Europe

Johann Joachim Quantz, know in his day as the finest flutist in Europe, was born on January 30, 1697. Son of a German blacksmith who had wanted Quantz to follow in his trade, Johann Joachim Quantz studied music instead. In 1740, he became composer, flute teacher and flute maker to Frederick the Great, also a flutist. As a flute maker, Quantz added keys to the instrument to improve intonation. As a composer, he left hundreds of pieces of flute music. But it was as a teacher that he left his mark, with the publication of a method, published in English as On Playing the Flute, a book that documents not only Baroque flute playing, but also the performance practices of Baroque music in general. Quantz died on July 12, 1773. Happy birthday, Johann Joachim Quantz.