Graun, Johann Gottlieb

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Graun, Johann Gottlieb

Graun, Johann Gottlieb, distinguished German composer, brother of August Friedrich and Carl Heinrich Graun; b. Wahrenbruck, near Dresden, c. 1703; d. Berlin, Oct. 27, 1771. He began his musical studies while at the Dresden Kreuzschule; studied violin and composition with Pisendel in Dresden, then went to Prague, where he studied with Tartini. In 1726 he became Konzertmeister in Merseburg, where he numbered among his students Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. He was appointed Konzertmeister to Crown Prince Frederick (later Frederick II the Great) in Ruppin in 1732; continued in his service in Rheinsberg (1736-40), and then in Berlin in the newly founded Royal Opera under his brother Carl Heinrich, its Kapellmeister. He was a notable composer of instrumental music; he wrote about 95 sinfonias, 17 French overtures, 80 concertos (60 for violin), some 175 trio sonatas, and other chamber works.


Mennicke, Hasse und die Bruder G. als Symphoniker (Leipzig, 1906); M. Wilier, Die Konzertform der Bruder Carl Heinrich und J.C. G. (Frankfurt am Main, 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire