Kittel, Johann Christian

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Kittel, Johann Christian

Kittel, Johann Christian, noted German organist and composer; b. Erfurt, Feb. 18, 1732; d. there, April 17, 1809. He studied at the Thomasschule in Leipzig, and was one of Bach’s last students there. After Bach’s death, he became organist at Langensalza (1751–56); then at Erfurt’s Barfüsserkirche (1756–62) and Predigerkirche (from 1762). Despite his meager remuneration, he remained in Erfurt almost all his life. Although he seldom made extensive tours, he acquired a fine reputation as a virtuoso; gave a series of recitals in Hamburg (1803). His most outstanding pupil was J.C.H. Rinck. He ed. Vierstimmige Choräle mit Vorspielen (2 vols., Altona, 1803); other works include Der angehende praktische Organist (3 books; Erfurt, 1801-08; 3rd ed., 1831) and Grosse Präludien, Hymne an das Jahrhundert (2 vols., 1801). Among his compositions are 6 sonatas and a Fantasia for Clavichord, as well as smaller organ pieces.


A. Dreetz, J.C.K., der letzte Bach-Schüler (Leipzig, 1932).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire