Johann Kuhnau (April 6, 1660 ? June 5, 1722), was a German composer, organist and harpsichordist.
Kuhnau was born in Geising. He preceded Johann Sebastian Bach as cantor of the Thomaskirche (St Thomas Church) in Leipzig. There Kuhnau taught Johann David Heinichen and Christoph Graupner, both of whom were to become composers. He remained there until his death.
In recent years, it has been suggested that Kuhnau may have written the "Christmas cantata" formerly attributed to Bach as BWV 142. Since musicologists no longer believe Bach to have written BWV 142, it is now performed and recorded much less frequently than formerly
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