Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach, born in 1685 in Eisenach, died in 1750 in Leipzig, Germany, regarded by many as the world's greatest composer and organist. He was Lutheran, known among many as "The Fifth Evangelist." [1]

Johann Sebastian Bach has long been esteemed as one of the greatest composers in human history. Perhaps because of this fact and because he lived more than a century after Luther, the influence of the Reformation upon Bach's work is often overlooked. The significance of the Reformation was not limited to its transformative impact upon the church; it also had profound consequences for European arts and culture. Luther's translation of the Bible and his practice of using the arts in service of praising God led to the flowering of vernacular hymns and the establishment of the Lutheran chorale. One of Bach's greatest accomplishments was the powerful combination of these two Reformation elements in his cantatas and in the Saint Matthew Passion and Saint John Passion. In the minds of some, Bach's masterful evocations of the suffering and death of Jesus have established him as the Fifth Evangelist.