German composer, organist, and violinist. His grandfather Paul (d. 1655) was a lutenist in and around Lübeck; his father, also named Paul (1640-89?), was organist at Schwabstedt and was the boy's first music teacher. In 1681 Nicolaus and his brother Georg went to study music with their uncle Peter in Lübeck; Nicolaus also studied composition and organ with Buxtehude. He later served as violinist and composer at the Copenhagen court, and in 1689 he was accepted unanimously for the organ post at Husum, where he served only eight years before his death at age 31. He composed cantatas, chamber music (lost), and organ works (including four preludes and fugues). Mattheson reported that Bruhns could accompany his own contrapuntal violin improvisations on the organ pedals.