Bach dedicated the Brandenburg Concerts to the wealthy Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg, who was the younger brother of Frederick I Hohenzollern, the first King of Prussia.
Today’s date marks the anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s dedication of six famous compositions to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg. Due to this dedication, the compositions got the name Brandenburg Concerts, and are today considered not only some of the best of Bach’s works, but also some of the best works of Baroque music in general.
Johann Sebastian Bach composed a total of over 1,100 compositions during his lifetime. He was only 35 years old at the time he dedicated the mentioned concerts to the Margrave. A year before that, his wife Maria Barbara Bach died, having born him six children. Bach married again after a year-and-a-half later, this time to the 20-year-old Anna Magdalena Wilcke, who bore him another 13 children (so Bach had a total of 20 children).
At that time, Bach was residing in the town of Köthen, southwest of Berlin. He dedicated the mentioned Brandenburg Concerts to Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg, the younger brother of Frederick I Hohenzollern, the first King of Prussia. Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg was wealthy despite being the younger son in the royal family. He was the owner of large estates near Berlin (Malchow and Heinersdorf). At that time, Berlin was the capital of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Christian Ludwig bore the title Margrave of Brandenburg, just like all other members of the Prussian ruling family.