25th March 1570
Johann Walter was a Lutheran composer and poet during the Reformation period. Walter was born in Kahla, in present-day Thuringia in 1496. According to a document filed with his will, he was born with the surname of Blanckenmüller, but adopted out of poverty by a citizen of Kahla, and given an education at Kahla and Rochlitz under his new name, Johann Walter. He began his career as a composer and bass cantor in the chapel of Frederick the Wise at the age of 21. It was a position he would hold until Frederick’s death in 1525. By this time, he was the director of the chapel and had become an outspoken musical spokesman for Lutherans. Walter edited the first Protestant hymnal for choir, Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn, in Wittenberg in 1524, with a foreword by Martin Luther himself; and for the German-language Deutsche Messe produced in 1527.