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Philipp Nicolai

Philipp Nicolai
Seal of the minister Philipp Nicolai

Philipp Nicolai (10 August 1556 – 26 October 1608) was a German Lutheran pastor, poet, and composer. He is most widely recognized as a hymnwriter. [1][2]


  • Biography 1
  • See Also 2
  • References 3
  • Other Sources 4
  • Related Reading 5
  • External links 6


Philipp Nicolai was born at Mengeringhausen in Waldeck, Hesse, Germany where his father was a Lutheran priest. His early education include studies at Kassel in Hesse, Hildesheim in Lower Saxony and Dortmund in Westphalia. He studied theology at the University of Erfurt where he was a pupil of Ludwig Helmbold.[3]

In 1583, he was ordained to the Lutheran ministry and was appointed minister at Herdecke. He was subsequently expelled during the Counter-Reformation. In 1588, he became pastor at Altwildungen in Hesse. He graduated with a Doctorate Degree in Theology from the University of Wittenberg in 1594. In 1596, he became the minister at Unna in Westphalia. In 1601, he was elected chief pastor of St. Katherine’s Church (Katharinenkirche) in Hamburg.[4][5]

He was the author of two famous Schübler Chorales, has become world famous. Nicolai is supposed to be the last example of the Meistersinger tradition, in which words and music, text and melody stem from one and the same person.[7][8]

Philipp Nicolai is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church on 26 October together with hymnwriters Johann Heermann and Paul Gerhardt.

See Also


  1. ^ ( Nicolai, Hymnwriter
  2. ^ (Hymns Ancient and Modern: Historical Edition William H. Frere, 1909)Philip Nicolai (1556-1608)
  3. ^ (STEM Publishing)Philipp Nicolai, 1556-1608
  4. ^ (Hymns and Carols of Nicolai
  5. ^ (, Philipp, D.D.
  6. ^ Lyon, James (2005). Chorals. Editions Beauchesne. p. 73.  
  7. ^ Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying, translated by: Catherine Winkworth as Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
  8. ^ (Christian Classics Eternal Library)King and Queen of Chorales

Other Sources

  • Glover, Raymond F. (1990) The Hymnal 1982 Companion, Volume One (Church Publishing Inc) ISBN 9780898691436
  • Crump, William D. (2013) The Christmas encyclopedia (McFarland & Company, 3rd ed.) ISBN 9780786468270

Related Reading

  • Wolff, Christoph (2000) Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician (W. W. Norton & Company) ISBN 0-393-04825-X

External links

  • (The Cyber Hymnal)Philipp Nicolai 1556-1608
  • Wittenberg Trail)Philipp Nicolai Society
  • by Hilton C. Oswald, Edited by Bruce R. BackerStudies In Lutheran Chorales
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