Classic Cat

Biography of

Nicolaus Bruhns

1665 (Schwabstedt) - 29 mar 1697 (Husum)
Buy sheetmusic from Bruhns at SheetMusicPlus
To be distinguished from Friedrich Nicolaus Bruhns or Brauns (1637-1718)

Nicolaus Bruhns (Nikolaus, Nicholas) (1665, Schwabstedt – March 29, 1697, Husum) was one of the greatest organists and composers of his time. He studied with Dieterich Buxtehude, who regarded him as among the very best of his students.



He initially learned music from his father Paul Bruhns (1640 – c. 1689), the organist at Schwabstedt in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He later studied composition and organ with Dieterich Buxtehude.

With Buxtehude's help, he received a post as violinist and composer at the court in Copenhagen, and in 1689 became the town organist in Husum, Germany, his last post before his tragic early death (sources disagree on whether he was 31 or 32 at the time).

Although primarily an organist, he had many musical talents; he was known for playing improvisations on the violin over a bass line played on the pedal board of the organ, and was one of the best composers of sacred cantatas of his era. He also composed chamber music, which is now unfortunately lost.

Johann Sebastian Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach later wrote to his father's biographer Johann Nikolaus Forkel that his father had greatly admired Bruhns' work. J.S. Bach's obituary stated that he studied and followed Bruhns' compositions.



  • Muss nicht der Mensch auf dieser Erden in stetem Streite sein
  • Ich habe Lust abzuscheiden
  • O werter heil'ger Geist
  • Hemmt eure Traenenflut
  • Ich liege und schlafe
  • Jauchzet dem Herren
  • Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet
  • De profundis
  • Paratum cor meum
  • Die Zeit meines Abschieds ist vorhanden
  • Erstanden ist der heilige Christ
  • Der Herr hat seinen Stuhl im Himmel bereitet
  • Mein Herz ist bereit - Sound-icon.png Example and Sheet music


Organ Works

  • "Großes" Praeludium in e-Moll - Sound-icon.png Example (info), Sheet music
  • "Kleines" Praeludium in e-Moll - Sound-icon.png Example and Sheet music
  • Choralphantasie: Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland
  • Praeludium in G-Dur
  • Fragment eines Praeludiums D-Dur
  • Praeludium in g-Moll


Further reading

The most recent and concise summary of Bruhns' life and works available in English.
Covers a wide variety of topics related to church music, with considerable space given to Bruhns.
  • Snyder, Kerala J. Dieterich Buxtehude: Organist in Lübeck. New York: Schirmer Books, 1987. ISBN 0-02-873080-1.
This definitive biography of Buxtehude includes significant discussion of Bruhns' early life and context.
  • Fosse, R.C. "Nicolaus Bruhns", pp. 92-107 in The Musical Heritage of the Lutheran Church, ed. T. Hoelty-Nickel. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959.
The first substantial consideration of Bruhns in English.
  • Geck, Martin. Nicolaus Bruhns: Leben und Werk. Köln: Musikverlag H. Gerig, 1968. (German)
Somewhat dated, this remains the central study of Bruhns to date.
  • Kölsch, Heinz. Nicolaus Bruhns. Kassel: Bärenreiter-Verlag, 1958. Issued in 1938 as thesis, Kiel. (German)
The first landmark study of Bruhns' life and works.

External links

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nicolaus Bruhns. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
Buy sheetmusic from Bruhns at SheetMusicPlus

Our dream: to make the world's treasury of classical music accessible for everyone. See the about page on how we see the future.
Help us with donations or by making music available!

Contact     Privacy policy    Looking for classical mp3 downloads? We index the free-to-download classical mp3s on the internet.
©2021 Classic Cat - the classical music directory
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale