Fasch, Karl Friedrich Christian (baptized Christian Friedrich Carl)

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Fasch, Karl Friedrich Christian (baptized Christian Friedrich Carl)

Fasch, Karl Friedrich Christian (baptized Christian Friedrich Carl), noted German harpsichordist, choral conductor, and composer, son of Johann Friedrich Fasch; b. Zerbst, Nov. 18, 1736; d. Berlin, Aug. 3, 1800. He studied keyboard playing and theory with his father, then violin with Karl Hockh, concert-master of the Zerbst Court Orch. From the age of 14 he received a thorough music education from Johann Wil-helm Hertel in Strelitz. While in Strelitz, he impressed the violinist Franz Benda, who recommended him to the court of Friedrich the Great in Berlin as 2nd harpsichordist (1756). He was also active as a teacher and composer in Berlin. When C.P.E. Bach left the Berlin court for Hamburg in 1767, Fasch was named his successor as principal harpsichordist. He also served as conductor of the Royal Opera (1774–76). In later years his work at the court was greatly diminished, and he devoted himself to teaching, conducting, and composing. In 1789 he organized his own choral soc., which soon became known as the Singakademie. He com-posed a great amount of sacred vocal music, much of which he discarded. A supposedly complete ed. of his works was publ. by the Singakademie (7 vols., Berlin, 1839).


K. Zelter, K.RC. F. (Berlin, 1801); C. von Winterfeld, Uber K.F.C. F.’s geistliche Gesangwerke (Berlin, 1829).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire