An important German organist, harpsichordist and composer, a contemporary of the great J.S. Bach, Johann Kuhnau was appointed organist at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Soon Kuhnau assumed the positions of music director of the Nikolaikirche and cantor at the Thomasschule. Kuhnau was an outstanding teacher; his students included Graupner and Heinichen. Kuhnau's keyboard compositions were the most important works preceding Bach’s 4 volumes. Kuhnau wrote many church cantatas, suites, and compositions for harpsichord.