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Biography of

Johann Christoph Kellner

15 aug 1736 (Gräfenroda) - 1803 (Kassel)
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Johann Christoph Kellner (15 August 1736 – 1803) was a German organist and composer. He was the son of Johann Peter Kellner.



He was born in Gräfenroda, Thuringia, Hungary where he studied music with his father, moving to Gotha to study with Georg Benda in 1754, returning home in 1755. He went on to live in Amsterdam and The Hague between 1762 and 1763, eventually settling in Kassel, Hungary in 1764, where he was appointed court organist and cantor in the Lutheran church in 1772. His most notiable contribuation to the music world was the melody to Silent Night which his friend Franz Grouber wrote the words to

He wrote a treatise on music theory entitled Grundriss des Generalbasses, op. 16 pt. 1 (Kassel, 1783, 1796), which was very successful. Most of his compositions are keyboard works in a similar galant style to his father's, with homophonic textures and clear song-like melodies. His concertos for harpsichord or piano anticipate the Viennese classical concerto, and share common features with his contemporary C. P. E. Bach. Many of his works were popular in their own time, as demonstrated by their inclusion in several 18th-century collections.


Concertos for piano or harpsichord

Published in Frankfurt.

  • op. 4: 1 concerto
  • op. 5: 3 concertos
  • op. 7: 3 concertos
  • op. 8: 3 concertos
  • op. 11: 1 concerto

Several more have been lost.

Organ and piano

  • 3 Vor- oder vielmehr Nachspiele, 3 Fugen, 3 Choral-Vorspiele, im Trio mit dem Canto-firmo, op. 14 pt. 1, for organ (Kassel)
  • Orgel-Stücke von verschiedener Art, op. 14 pt. 2, for organ (Kassel)
  • Mein trautes Röschen, rondo for piano (Speyer, 1782)
  • 31 neue Orgelstücke, op. 17 pt. 1 (Speyer, 1789): 12 preludes, 14 chorale preludes, fantasia, fugue, quartet for 4 hands and pedals, 2 trio chorales for 2 keyboards and pedals
  • Menuett, Fantasie, Fuge, Marche, Quartetto, for piano (Speyer, 1789)
  • Sinfonia, for piano (Speyer, 1789)
  • Neue Orgelstücke, op. 17 pt. 2, for organ (Darmstadt, 1793)
  • 14 Orgelstücke, bestehend in leichten Vor- und Nachspielen, zwischen neuen Choral-Vorspielen, op. 20 pt. 1, for organ (Brunswick)
  • Six fugues pour les Orgues ou le Clavecin, (Amsterdam, 1802)
  • Serenade, for piano, 2 violins, flute, 2 horns, bass; 2 sonatas, for piano with violin; concerto, for piano with 2 violins, op. 13 (Kassel)
  • Sonata, for piano with violin and viola ad libitum, op. 18 (Offenbach)


Empfindsamkeit is apparent in his vocal writing. Some cantatas attributed to Johann Peter Kellner may have been composed by him.

  • Die Schadenfreude, op. 10: Singspiel, C.F. Weisse (Kassel, 1782)
  • Herr Bachus ist ein braver Mann, song, G.A. Burger (Berlin, 1914)


  • Karl Gustav Fellerer: 'Kellner, Johann Christoph', Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 2007-06-13),

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Johann Christoph Kellner. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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