After studying with his father (Paul) and brother (Peter, Rathsmusikus for viola and violin in Lübeck), Nicolaus Bruhns studied organ with Lubeck's Buxtehude. With the help of his mentor Bruhns was awarded a post in Copenhagen and later took a post at Husum. Bruhns became known as the second-greatest organist of his time (next to Buxtehude). As would be expected, Bruhns's works are primarily for the organ, but he also composed cantatas and motets. Writing in 1775 to Johann Sebastian's biographer, Forkel, Carl Philipp Emanuel named Bruhns as a composer whose works his father had admired.