Young Kirnberger was introduced to the fugues of Bach around 1738 by his teacher, Gerber. He moved straightway to Leipzig so that he might study with the master. In 1751 Kirnberger became violinist in the employ of Frederick the Great. Later, in the service of the Princess Anna Amalia, he founded the Amalien-bibliothek which became an important repository of Bach manuscripts. This library is now known as the "Kirnberger Collection." Kirnberger taught Zelter, who later kindled Mendelssohn's interest in Bach, which led to the revival of the St. Matthew Passion in 1827. Known today primarily for his theoretical work Die Kunst des reinen Satzes in der Musik, (1774, 1779), Kirnberger was remembered in his own day for his fugues which were considered remarkable for their correctness.