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Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck


(born: Deventer, ?May 1562; died: Amsterdam, 16 Oct 1621)
Netherlands composer. He studied with his father, organist of the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, succeeding him in or before 1580. He remained in this post all his life, with a few excursions to inspect new organs in other cities. Among the most influential and sought-after teachers of his time, he included Germans among his pupils, notably Scheidt, Jacob Praetorius and Scheidemann. He wrote over 250 vocal works, including a complete French psalter (1604-21), motets (1619), chansons (1594, 1612) and Italian madrigals (1612). But he is best known for his c. 70 keyboard works, which include monumental fugal fantasias, concise toccatas and well-ordered variation sets. He perfected forms derived from, among others, the English virginalists and greatly influenced 17th-century north German keyboard music, becoming one of the leading composers of his day. His son Dirck (1591-1652), who succeeded him at the Oude Kerk in 1621, edited a popular song collection (1644) and also composed songs and keyboard music.

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