Bach, Johann [John] Christian
- Ernest Warburton
(b Leipzig, Sept 5, 1735; d London, Jan 1, 1782). German composer, youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach and the only member of the Bach family to compose operas. He probably began lessons in keyboard playing and theory with his father in 1743 or 1744. After his father died, in 1750, he went to live in Berlin with his brother Carl Philipp Emanuel with whom he continued his keyboard studies and took composition lessons. There he first had the opportunity to attend opera performances on a regular basis.
In 1754 he went to Italy, where he found a congenial teacher in Padre Martini of Bologna and a generous patron in Count Agostino Litta of Milan. Both teacher and patron directed Bach, who had embraced Roman Catholicism, towards a safe career as a church musician. However, as early as 1756 he may have written some substitute arias for an opera (Gioacchino Cocchi’s ...