He was a
composer, flautist, flute maker and author born in Oberscheden, Germany, into a family where his father was a
blacksmith. Although his father
wanted him to follow him in his career, he started to study music as an
apprentice of his uncle’s son-in-law when he was just a child.
originally playing a variety of stringed instruments, trumpet and oboe, in Dresden’s town band he moved on to Vienna to study counterpoint with Jan Dismas Zelenka.
time between Poland and Germany he was employed as an oboist for
Augustus II, King of Poland but in 1719 he decided to concentrate his
further studies on the flute and over the next few years continued in
employment of the King in Poland.
Over time he toured England and France and his popularity grew until he earned
himself the reputation of being one of Europe’s finest flautists.
In 1728 he
went back to Dresden to become a musician at the Dresden court chapel. He also became a teacher and
travelled back and forth to Berlin to his student Crown Prince Frederick.
In 1739 He
spread his wings further and began making flutes, which led to him gaining
attention with his addition of extra keys and innovative designs.
In 1740, when his
student became King Frederick II of Prussia, he was given the position of composer at his
court. He found himself
still teaching, organising concerts and received bonus payments for each
His works as a
composer started, many of them influenced by the music of the composer
Antonio Vivaldi, were numerous. They were mainly based on the flute
and include more than 200 sonatas, 300 concertos, several orchestral works
and many songs.
Aside from his compositions
he made his name known s the author of the 1752 Versuch
einer Anweisung die Flote traversiere zu spielen (Method of Playing
the Transverse Flute). This
reference work on the technique and performance practice of the flute has
been translated into several languages and is still used as a valuable
In 1773 he passed away after a short illness in Potsdam,
Germany. He was 76 years old.
Musica Antiqua Koln recordings
Concerto for 2
Flutes and Orchestra in G Major
Archiv 447 664 (CD: Concerti ‘pour l’orchestra di Dresda’)
7805.pdf (PDF File)