Dieterich Buxtehude’s Life

> Home
> News
> About Buxtehude
> The Society
> Membership
> Events
> Shop
> Downloads
> Contact


Life and work of Dieterich Buxtehude have been researched quite well. Though, there ist very little knowledge about his childhood and youth, and many compositions have been lost. However, the Buxtehude Catalogue of Works does list about 220 compositions, ranging from small organ pieces up to oratorios with - for those days - nearly “symphonic” scores. In the following, important sources for information and music are named. At the bottom of the page a brief overview is given, too:

Global descriptions of Buxtehude’s life and

A brief survey on the bottom of this page...
  go to survey>>

...much more detailed and with the usual provision of links and references at Wikipedia:

Kerala J. Snyder’s important monography “Dieterich Buxtehude - Organist in Lübeck”, is out-of-print in its original English version. The revised German edition of 2007 is published at Bärenreiter
  product link>>

Publications on Dieterich Buxtehude and his music:

A Buxtehude bibliography was published in 1989 in Hermann Wettstein’s book “Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707). Eine Bibliographie zu seinem Leben und Werk. Mit einem Anhang über Nicolaus Bruhns (= Schriften der Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg i. Br. 2). Freiburg i. Br.”. It may be ordered as a reprint at De Gruyter publishers.
  Link to De Gruyter>>
This bibliography was updated in 2010 by Sylvia Budde-Manhart. This version is available on our website as PDF file:
  open PDF>>

List of Works by Buxtehude:

Published in 1974 by Breitkopf and revised in 1985, the “Buxtehude-Werkeverzeichnis” (BuxWV) by Georg Karstädt is still an important source for scholars and musicians, giving the openings of every piece and naming the source of the lyrics of the vocal compositions. 
  product link>>

In 2010, an updated version without the openings and the vocal sources, but adding recently published works, has been made available for download here on this website by Sylvia Budde-Manhart:
  open PDF>>

Sheet music:

There are scholarly editions and practical editions available. The “Collected Works” edition was begun in 1935 by Ugrino publishing house, containing Vol. I - VIII. These volumes are available at older academic libraries only. For a time they were available as reprint at Broude Edition. Since 1987, the Collected Works edition is beeing continued by Broude. Information about the current state may be found at the Broude catalogue: (dort auf Seite 15)
  open Broude catalogue 2015>>

Practical editions are available for the majority of Buxtehude’s works - see the List of Works paragraph above.

On this website, Ton Koopman made available sheet music which has been produced for his “Opera omnia” recording project. Roland Wilson contributed his “Das jüngste Gericht” materials. Both are available here on site in our
  Download section>>

Additional online sources for free sheet music are CPDL (vocal music) and IMSLP (instrumental music) and the Buxtehude Group at Yahoo:
  Buxtehude at CPDL>>
  Buxtehude at IMSLP>>
  Yahoo Buxtehude Group>>


1637 (?)

born as son of Johann Buxtehude (1602-1674), probably in Helsingborg (now Sweden), where Johann Buxtehude served as organist of St. Mary’s church from probably 1633 until 1641.




Johann Buxtehude obviously becomes organist of St. Olai’s church in Helsingør (Denmark), the family moves to that place




Dieterich Buxtehude takes the post of organist of St. Mary’s church of Helsingborg, his father’s former job



Dieterich Buxtehude becomes organist of St. Mary’s church in Helsingør



A visit of Dieterich Buxtehudes to Copenhagen is documented





Franz Tunder, organist of St. Mary’s church of Lübeck since 1641, died on 5 November.



Dieterich Buxtehude applies as Tunders successor. On 16 March Johan Radeck is appointed as successor of Buxtehude at St. Mary’s, Helsingør.
11 April Buxtehude is appointed organist and  “Werkmeister” of St. Mary’s, Lübeck.
23 July he becomes citizen of Lübeck.
3 August he marries Tunder’s daughter Anna Margareta.



Buxtehude asks for the construction of new balconies in the nave of St. Mary’s to enlarge the usable space for musicians.




Death of father Johann Buxtehude. Dieterich Buxtehude publishes the composition “Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin”.
In Hamburg the painting “Domestic Music Scene” by Johannes Voorhout is made,  obviously showing the only image of buxtehude preserved.



Abendmusik “Die Hochzeit des Lammes”




An Abendmusik with about 40 musicians is mentioned




Lent music “Membra Jesu Nostri”




Nicolaus Bruhns studies with Buxtehudes




Abendmusik “Das jüngste Gericht”




Georg Dieterich Leiding studies with Buxtehudes




Buxtehude travels to test the Arp Schnitger organ of St. Nicholas church, Hamburg




Abendmusik based on the parable of the prodigal son




Publication of the Trio Sonatas Op. 1




Publication of the Trio Sonatas Op. 2




Music for the dedication of the Fredenhagen altar




Johann Pachelbel dedicates his “Hexachordon Apollinis” to Buxtehude




Five mixed programs for the Abendmusiken




Georg Friedrich Händel and Johann Mattheson visit Buxtehude from Hamburg on 17 August




Extension of St. Mary’s Large organ by Otto Hinrich Richborn




“Extraordinary” Abendmusiken “Castrum Doloris” (on the death of Leopold I.) and “Templum Honoris” (on the coronation of Joseph I)




Johann Sebastian Bach visits Buxtehude between November 1705 and February 1706 from Arnstadt (Thuringia). He attends the mentioned Abendmusiken



Dieterich Buxtehude dies on 9 May and is buried in St. Mary’s a week later. His student Johann Christian Schieferdecker is appointed as his successor.


last updated
04 November, 2015


top of page>>