Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Poets & Composers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Bach & Other Composers

Johann Tobias Krebs (Composer)

Born: July 7, 1690 - Heichelheim, near Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
Died: February, 11, 1762 - Buttstädt, near Weimar, Thuringia, Germany

Johann Tobias Krebs was a German composer and distinguished organist. In 1710 he was appointed Kantor and organist at Buttelstedt, near Weimar, and in 1721 he became organist and headmaster at nearby Buttstädt, where he remained until his death. He taught son organ, harmony, theory, and counterpoint.

J.S. Bach Connection

From about 1710 to 1714 Johann Tobias Krebs studied in Weimar with J.S. Bach's kinsman and colleague Johann Gottfried Walther, and from about 1714 to 1717 with J.S. Bach himself. Along with J.G. Walther he was the main copyist of the manuscript complex P 801-3 (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin), which contains numerous keyboard compositions by J.S. Bach. Many of J.T. Krebs's copies are the earliest surviving sources for certain works. Johann Tobias Krebs is believed to be the composer of the Eight Short Preludes and Fugues (BWV 553-560) previously attributed to J.S. Bach.

J.T. Krebs's sons

Of Krebs's three sons the most important was Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780), a renowned performer and prolific composer. Another son was Johann Tobias Krebs, Jr. (1716-1782), born in Buttelstedt. From 1729 to 1740 he was at the Thomasschule, and from 1739 to 1742 studied at Leipzig University. In 1746 he was appointed assistant headmaster at the lyceum in Chemnitz. He then moved to Grimma, where in 1751 he was appointed assistant headmaster, and in 1763 headmaster. He remained in Grimma until his death. In 1729, following Krebs's audition at the Thomasschule in Leipzig, J.S. Bach judged the 13-year-old as having 'a good strong voice and fine proficiency'. The youngest son was Johann Carl (1724-1759), born in Buttstädt. Prom 1740 to 1747 he was at the Thomasschule and in 1750 was appointed headmaster at the village school in Buttstädt, where he remained until his death. When, in the 1750's, his father became blind, Johann Carl assisted him with his duties as town organist.


Source: Wikipedia Website; Malcom Boyd, editor: Oxford Composer Companion J.S. Bach (Oxford University Press, 1999, Article author: Russell Stinson)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2006)

Works previously attributed to J.S. Bach



Prelude & Fugue for organ in C major, BWV 553 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 1]
Prelude & Fugue for organ in D minor, BWV 554 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 2]
Prelude & Fugue for organ in E minor, BWV 555 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 3]
Prelude & Fugue for organ in F major, BWV 556 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 4]
Prelude & Fugue for organ in G major, BWV 557 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 5]
Prelude & Fugue for organ in G minor, BWV 558 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 6]
Prelude & Fugue for organ in A minor, BWV 559 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 7]
Prelude & Fugue for organ in B flat major, BWV 560 [8 Short Preludes & Fugues No. 8]
Trio for organ in C minor, BWV Anh 46

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein

Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland, Chorale Prelude for Organ (also attributed to J.S. Bach, BWV 660b)

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, Chorale Prelude for Organ. T 83

O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort

Links to other Sites

Johann Tobias Krebs (Wikipedia)
Eight Short Preludes and Fugues (Wikipedia) Johann Tobias Krebs
Johann Tobias Krebs (biography .ms)


BC i/1, p. 228
S. Daw: 'Copies of J. S. Bach by Walther and Krebs: A Study of the Mss. P. 801, P 802, and P 803', Organ Yearbook, 7 (1976), pp. 31-58
F. Friedrich: Johann Ludwig Krebs: Leben und Werk (
Altenburg, 1988)
H. Zietz: Quellenkritische Untersuchungen an den Bach-Handschriften P 801, P 802 und P 803 (
Hamburg, 1969).

Biographies of Poets & Composers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Bach & Other Composers


Back to the Top

Last update: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 15:16