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Johann Friedrich Agricola

Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720-1774), German musician, was born at Dobitschen in Saxe-Altenburg, on the 4th of January 1720.

While a student of law at Leipzig he studied music under Johann Sebastian Bach. In 1741 he went to Berlin, where he studied musical composition.

He was soon generally recognized as one of the most skilful organists of his time; and in 1751, as the result of a comic opera, Il Filosofo convinto in amore, performed at Potsdam, he was made court composer to Frederick the Great.

In 1759, on the death of Karl Heinrich Graun, he was appointed conductor of the royal orchestra.

He died in Berlin on the 1st of December 1774.

Besides several Italian operas of merit, he composed instrumental pieces and church music, especially oratorios and cantatas, as well as Lieder. His reputation chiefly rests, however, on his theoretical and critical writings on musical subjects. He wrote under the pseudonym of Flavio Anicio Olibrio.

NB: The surname Agricola is almost always a Latin translation of one of these Germanic surnames: Bauer, Schneider, Schnitter, Hausmann, Huusman, Huysman.

Initial text from 1911 encyclopedia

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