Carl Heinrich Graun (b. 1704-d. 1759)
Carl Heinrich Graun was born in Germany. In 1714, at age 10, he entered the Dresden Kreuzschule, where he sang in the choir and composed a vast array of church music. At age 14 he entered the University of Leipzi, where he studied singing, organ, composition and opera. Graun flourished as an opera singer, and in 1725 he became the tenor soloist for the Brunswick Opera. Two years later he was appointed the company's assistant director and produced the first of six operas for the stage. In 1735 Graun began to work for Crown Prince Frederick (“the Great”). When Frederick became King in 1740 he appointed Graun as the Royal Kapellmeister and sent the young composer to Italy to find singers for his new opera. Graun wrote many operas that are rarely performed today. His passion, Der Tod Jesu (The Death of Jesus), was frequently performed in Germany for many years after his death.
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