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Johann Nikolaus Tischer (Composer, Bach's Pupil)

Born: 1707 - Böhlen, about 15 km south of Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
Died: May 3, 1774 - Schmalkalden, Thuringia, Germany

Johann Nikolaus Tischer was a German composer and instrumentalist (primarily oboe). This extraordinarily versatile musician studied the organ with Johann Balthasar Rauche in Böhlen (1719) and piano with Johann Graf in Halberstadt (1722), and the violin, viola d’amore and composition with Schweitzelberg in Arnstadt and again Graf in Rudolstadt. He was also proficient on the oboe: after travels to Erfurt, Brunswick, Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden. He also studied with J.S. Bach in Leipzig in 1726.

Johann Nikolaus Tischer finally obtained employment in 1728 as regimental oboist and violinist to Duke August Wilhelm of Brunswick. In 1731 he moved to Schmalkalden as town organist, shortly thereafter also becoming Konzertmeister at the court of Saxe-Coburg-Meiningen. Declining health curtailed his activities after 1765 and in 1768 his pupil J.G. Vierling was appointed to assist him, eventually becoming his successor.

In his youth Johann Nikolaus Tischer’s compositional activities centred on church music; after 1732 he divided his efforts between keyboard and orchestral music. Particularly well represented in his output are pedagogical collections for young pianists and concertos for the piano, violin and oboe, instruments on which he himself excelled. Although his keyboard works were much published and appreciated during his lifetime, modern scholars have generally dismissed his works as shallow and of little consequence.


Published in Nuremberg unless otherwise stated
Edition: Johann Nikolaus Tischer: Opera omnia per clavicembalo, ed. L. Cerutti (Padua, 1995)

Anmuthige Clavier-Früchte, i–ii, bestehend in 6 kleinen Suiten (?c1740)
Divertissement musical, 9 suites, opp.1–3 (c
Das vergnügte Ohr und der erquickte Geist in 6 Galanterie-Parthien (
Wehklagendes Kyrie und frohlockendes Halleluja, oder Harmonische Herzens-Belustigung, 2 concertos (c
Musikalische Zwillinge, i–vii, 13 concs. (1754), 4 ed. C. Lister (Saint Louis, MO, 1994)
Sonata in Haffner’s Oeuvres melées, vii (1761)
6 leichte und dabey angenehme Clavier-Partien, i–v (1763), vi (Munich, 1766)
6 fugues, Die vier Jahreszeiten (divertissement), keyboard, MS, mentioned FétisB

Other works (all MS, mentioned by Fétis):
50 church compositions, before 1732
6 concertos, oboe, viola
6 violin concertos
6 keyboard concertos
12 symphonies
6 overtures, strings
2 violin sonatas


Source: Grove Music Online (Author: Lilian P. Pruett, Accessed: June 22, 2014) Copyright © Oxford University Press 2007-2014; Oxford Composer Companions J.S. Bach (Editor: Malcolm Boyd, OUP, 1999); fine-print footnotes in the Bach-Dokumente
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2014); Thomas Braatz (January 2011, June 2014)

Bach's Pupils: List of Bach's Pupils | Actual and Potential Non-Thomaner Singers and Players who participated in Bach’s Figural Music in Leipzig | Bach’s Pupils - Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2

Links to other Sites



FétisB | GerberL | NewmanSCE | SchillingE
M. Seiffert: Geschichte der Klaviermusik (Leipzig, 1899/R), i, 368
K. Paulke: ‘Johann Gottfried Vierling, 1750–1813’, AMw, iv (1922), 439–55

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