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Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832)


Composer of many songs, choral works, church music, symphonies, concertos, and piano pieces, Carl Friedrich Zelter is remembered primarily as the teacher of Mendelssohn and Mayerbeer. It was Zelter who introduced the latter composer to the music of J. S. Bach. This led to Mendelssohn's performance of the B-Minor Mass (see YouTube instructions) and a revival of Bach's music 100 years after his death. Zelter was acquainted with Bach's music through his teachers Fasch and particularly Kirnberger. Zelter was a friend of Goethe's and set many of his poems to music. In 1822 Zelter founded the Royal Institute for Church Music in Berlin, and directed that institution until his death.

Bach's World Contemporaries Chronology