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Classical Composers A-Z: Jan Sweelinck

Peter Wintersgill tells of Jan Sweelinck, the most famous Dutch music teacher of his day.

Born
May 1562 in Deventer, Holland

Adolescence
Studied the organ with his father, succeeded him as organist of the Old Church, Amsterdam, stayed there for the rest of his life.

Adult Life
In time he became the most sought-after teacher of his time. Among his pupils were Scheidt, Jacob Praetorius and Scheidermann. He had a great influence on the future of North German organ music, was called the "Father of German Baroque".

He wrote 70 organ works, including fantasias, toccatas and fugues, and was the first to write separate parts for the pedals. He also wrote 250 vocal works, including motets, chansons, madrigals and a French
psalter.

He was succeed at the Old Church by his son, Dirck in 1621.

He died 16th October, 1621, in Amsterdam aged 59.

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