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Johann Georg Pisendel

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Biography

Johann Georg Pisendel's father was the Cantor of the Lutheran Church in Cadolzburg, although the family originated in Markneukirchen. At the age of ten or 11, Johann Georg became a choir boy at the court of Ansbach. Such positions usually involved further musical training. He studied singing with Pistocchi, violin with Torelli, and Heinichen in composition. In 1673, he became a violinist in the court. He traveled to Leipzig for more studies in 1709, stopping off in Weimar to visit Johann Sebastian Bach. In Leipzig, he performed an Albinoni violin concerto at the collegium musicum and soon became a familiar part of Leipzig's musical life. In 1710, when collegium musicum director Melchior Hoffman went on a concert tour, he appointed Pisendel to substitute for him. In 1712, Pisendel found a position as a violinist at the Dresden court orchestra, but he also had opportunities to travel with the electoral prince. Between 1714 and 1717, he visited France, Berlin, and Italy. He was given leave to remain in Italy for nine months, during which time he studied with Vivaldi. He also had studies in Rome with Montanari. He did not do as much touring thereafter. In 1728, when the position became vacant, he was appointed concertmaster of the orchestra. He was considered the foremost German violinist of his time and was an admired orchestra director. He did not write much music, but what there is (all instrumental works) was of very high quality and is mostly in an Italian style influenced by Vivaldi.
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