German composer and organist; also violin and cello. He was born in Berna in Silesia as a son of a weaver, and studied theology from 1744 in Leipzig. He was a pupil of Johann Sebastian Bach in composition and keyboard instruments. He was appointed in January 1748 organist in Niederwiesa in Silesia. On July 24, 1748 Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a letter to the City Council, and on July 31, 1748 to the Burgomaster of Naumburg requesting the appointment of his son-in-law Johann Christoph Altnikol to the position of organist at Saint Wenzel's Church, which had become vacant. In the September of that year Altnikol received the appointment, and on January 20, 1849 married Elizabeth Juliane Friedericia Bach (1726-81), the daughter of his teacher.