After the death of his father, a blacksmith, Quantz began his musical training under his uncle, a town musician in Merseburg. He studied string and wind instruments and also took lessons on the harpsichord. During this period he came to know the works of the major Baroque composers of the preceeding and present generations. Quantz moved to Dresden and became a member of the town band in 1716. After studying counterpoint the following year in Vienna, he next settled in Dresden as oboist for Augustus II, in the Polish chapel. He perceived little opportunity for advancement on the oboe and switched to flute during this time. His interest in composition began to grow, especially for works for the flute. Here he had many opportunities to perform for the royalty of Europe. After a distinguished world tour, Quantz was offered a post as a member of the court Kapelle in Dresden. In 1740 he took a special position as composer and flute maker for Frederick, the king of Prussia, where he remained for the rest of his career. Quantz was responsible for many innovations in flute design, including the addition of keys to improve intonation. He was the author of teaching manuals for his own as well as other instruments. His compositions are clearly Baroque, although his later works show some development toward the Classical style. ~ Lynn Vought
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