Anna Magdalena Bach


Women in Orchestra. Getty Images

Dates: September 22, 1701 - February 27, 1760

Known for: second wife of Johann Sebastian Bach

Occupation: singer, copyist; mother of 13, stepmother of 4

Also known as: Anna Magdalena Wulken

Background, Family:

  • Father: Johann Caspar Wulken, court musician, court trumpeter
  • Mother: Margaretha Elisabeth Liebe, from a family of musicians

Marriage, Children:

  • husband: Johann Sebastian Bach (married 1720; composer)
  • 13 children; 7 died before adulthood

About Anna Magdalena Bach:

Anna Magdalena Bach, a cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach, married him in 1720 after his first wife (another cousin, Maria Barbara Bach) died. Anna Magdalena Bach was a singer in her own right, and a pianist. She was a copyist for her husband, as well as having 13 children by him (7 died before adulthood) and raising his four children from his first marriage.

Anna Magdalana Bach likely was more than just a copyist. Some scholars credit her as a musical collaborator, and promote the idea that she wrote several pieces which he published under his (more famous) name and may have had significant influence in a few pieces which were otherwise composed by him.