The Kennedy Center

Lubeck Vincent


Vincent Lubeck was a German composer and virtuoso organist in Northern Germany during the late Baroque era.  He was best remembered as a distinguished teacher and for playing one of the largest contemporary 62-stop organs.
He was born in September, 1654, in Padingbuttel, Germany where he received his first musical training from his father also named Vincent Lubeck.  His father was the organist in northern Germany at Gluckstadt and Marienkirche in Flensburg.  He also studied under Caspar Förckelrath and studied keyboard music with Andreas Kneller.  But it was Caspar Forckelrath, who married his mother after the death of his father, who had the greatest influence on his musical path.  In 1675 at the age of nineteen he became the organist and composer at the church at Stade's St. Cosmae et Damiani 1675–1702 near Hamburg. He married Susanne Becker, the daughter of his predessor, and together they had two sons, Peter Paul and Vincent.   His sons would later become musicians, after being taught by their father.  A perk involved in taking this job was having the finest musical instrument, an organ made by skilled organ builder Arp Schnitger.  By 1702 he had built his reputation as a virtuoso organist and took a lifetime post at Hamburg's famous St. Nikolai.  There he also played on a Schnitger 62-stop organ, one of the largest contemporary organs. It still exists today. 
It was during this period where he developed a reputation as a greatly respected teacher having many students, among them his two sons.  His famous students were C.H. Postel and M.J.F. Wiedeburg.  Despite his longevity and popularity very few of his compositions still exist.  His body of work consists of organ preludes, chorales in the German style, a few cantatas and several pieces for harpsichord.  Only a few compositions were published during the composer's lifetime.  Of all his works the organ compositions were his most important, it is believed that he was greatly influenced by Dieterich Buxtehude and Johann Adam Reincken.  His work is often described as technically and artistically sophisticated, made for five-voice polyphony.  He died in Hamburg, Germany in 1740.