Johann Joachim Quantz

(1697 - 1773)


Flutist and composer. He was apprenticed to his uncle Justus Quantz and served J. A. Fleischhack as a journeyman until 1716, studying many string and wind instruments and taking harpsichord lessons from Kiesewetter. He joined the Dresden town band in 1716, studied counterpoint in Vienna under Jan Dismas Zelenka the following year, and in 1718 was appointed oboist in the Polish chapel of Augustus II; he also continued to play in Dresden. QuantzFinding little opportunity for advancement as an oboist, he took up the flute, studying for four months with P. G. Buffardin. Quantz traveled to Italy in 1724 and studied counterpoint with Gasparini ; he also journeyed to Paris (1726-27), where he added a second key to his flutes, and to England in 1727, where he met Handel. Upon his return to Dresden he was made a member of the court Kapelle. From 1728 he instructed Prince Frederick on the flute, and moved to Berlin in 1741 after Frederick became King of Prussia.In Berlin, Quantz was exempt from playing in the opera orchestra; instead, his duties revolved around the king's private evening concerts, where the repertoire (at least in later years) consisted primarily of works by Quantz and Frederick himself His compositions include over 200 flute sonatas and 300 flute concertos, in addition to trio sonatas and some vocal music; few of his works were published after he moved to Berlin. Quantz is best known for his treatise Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen (Berlin, 1752), an exhaustive work that discusses nearly all aspects of performance, from ornamentation and accompaniment to criteria for evaluating compositions and musicians; despite its title less than a third of the book is intended specifically for flutists. Quantz also was a flute maker; examples of his instruments can be found in Berlin and Washington, D.C.

Useful Link:  Johann Joachim Quantz (Quantz Ensemble)
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