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(latinized name, Henricus Sagittarius). Born Oct. 14,1585, in Köstritz, Thuringia; died Nov. 6,1672, in Dresden. German composer, Kapellmeister, and teacher.
In 1599, Schütz became a chorister in the chapel of the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. From 1609 to 1612 he studied composition in Venice under G. Gabrieli. Schütz was the founder of many genres of German music and played an important role in stimulating musical life in Germany. He wrote numerous religious works—including passions, oratorios, cantatas, and the German Magnificat —that paved the way for many of the innovations of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel. Schütz drew on the achievements of Italian choral, instrumental, and stage music, as well as the traditions of German religious and folk music.
Schütz was the composer of the first German opera, Daphne (1627), and the first German ballet, Orpheus and Eurydice (1638); neither of these works has been preserved.