Christoph Wolff

Christoph Wolff in September 2015 in the Gewandhaus, Leipzig

Christoph Wolff (born May 24, 1940) is a German-born musicologist, who is best known for his works on the music, life, and times of Johann Sebastian Bach. Christoph Wolff has been on the faculty of Harvard University since 1976 and director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig since 2001.

He was born in Solingen, the son of theologian Hans Walter Wolff. He studied organ and historical keyboard instruments, musicology and art history at the Universities of Berlin, Erlangen, and the Music Academy of Freiburg, receiving a performance diploma in 1963 and a PhD in 1966. Wolff taught the history of music at Erlangen, Toronto, Princeton, and Columbia Universities before joining the Harvard faculty in 1976 as Professor of Music. Currently, he is the Adams University Professor at Harvard University.

His books include Bach: Essays on His Life and Music (Cambridge, 1991), Mozart's Requiem (Berkeley, 1994), The New Bach Reader (New York, 1998), and Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. (New York, 2000). In 2013, his Mozart at the Gateway to His Fortune won an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. Wolff was interviewed about Bach's Art of Fugue in the documentary film Desert Fugue.

He was awarded the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize in 2006.[1]


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