Most people think that being an orphan is a distinct disadvantage which it can be but being adopted by good people can be a definite advantage too. It is possible to even have an asteroid named after you. This is borrowed from Revolvy.
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.
Following the conclusion of his appointment to Frederick’s chapel, Walter became cantor for the Torgau town choir in 1525, a post he would hold until 1548, when he was named court composer for Moritz, Duke of Saxony in Dresden.
While in Dresden, Walter composed a responsorial Passion in German. In earlier musical versions of the Passion story the entire narrative was a succession of polyphonic motets, but Walter used a monophonic reciting tone for the Evangelist and dramatis personae, reserving for the people and disciples simple falsobordone (chordal) polyphony.
Walter did not remain in Dresden very long, and by 1554 he had accepted a pension from the duke and returned to Torgau, where he remained for the rest of his life. He died on 25 March 1570.
The asteroid 120481 Johannwalter is named in his honour. He is also commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod as a musician on April 24.
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