Johann Ludwig Krebs

German composer and musician

Johann Ludwig Krebs (baptized 12 October 1713 – 1 January 1780) was a German Baroque musician and composer.

A Prelude by Krebs

Krebs was born in Buttelstedt, Weimar. His birth date is not known. He was baptized on October 12, 1713.[1] His father, Johann Tobias Krebs was an organist in Buttelstedt.[2] His brothers were also musicians. He studied music with his father. In 1726 he went to Leipzig to study in the Thomasschule. He studied music with Johann Sebastian Bach. He also worked as a copyist (somebody who copies music). He helped copy some of Bach's cantatas.[1]

In 1733, he tried to become the organist in St. Wenzel, Naumburg. His father, C.P.E. Bach and five other people also wanted to become the organist there.[1] Krebs, his father, and C.P.E. Bach were not successful. He returned to Leipzig. He continued studying for two years. In 1735, J.S. Bach wrote a testimonial which praised Krebs.[3]

In 1737, he became the organist at St. Marien in Zwickau. He was not happy with the salary.[4] In 1744 he became the castle organist in Zeitz. Krebs tried to become the Kantor of the Thomasschule when J.S. Bach. He was not successful.[3] In 1755 he went to Altenburg to become organist at the court of Frederick III, Duke of Gotha. The salary in Altenburg was not much. Georg Benda, the Kapellmeister in Gotha asked the court to raise Krebs' salary.[1]

In Altenburg, wrote orchestral music, keyboard music, sinfonias, and organ music. He died on January 1, 1780 in Altenburg.

Baroque music was becoming less popular in the middle of the eighteenth century. Even so, Krebs wrote music in the baroque style. His organ music shows J.S. Bach's influences. His preludes are often similar to Bach's preludes. Some of his orchestral music show the galant style.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 McLean, Hugh J. (2001). "Krebs, Johann Ludwig". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press.
  2. McLean, Hugh J. (2001). "Krebs, Johann Tobias". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kitchen, John (November 2006). "Two significant Bach pupils". Organists' Review. 92 (4): 15–23.
  4. "Johann Ludwig Krebs". The Kennedy Center. Retrieved 4 March 2022.