One of the most significant figures in the early history of the transverse flute, composer and performer Johann Joachim Quantz as a youth had the capacity to master nearly any instrument. Only late in his development did he specialize in the flute, an instrument that would lead him to a highly paid and highly honored position with King Frederick the Great of Prussia. By age eight, Quantz was already playing double bass in village festivals. When he was 10, upon his blacksmith-father's death, he was apprenticed to his uncle, a town musician, and then his uncle's son-in-law. This apprenticeship led Quantz to proficiency on oboe, trumpet, and most string instruments. He spent some time in the Dresden town band, and in 1717 studied counterpoint in Vienna with Jan Dismas Zelenka. The following year he became oboist in the Polish chapel of ...
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