Georg Philipp Telemann came from an affluent but unmusical family. Though he showed early promise as a performer and composer, his mother had other ideas and tried to discourage him by confiscating all his musical instruments. As a law student in Leipzig, however, he became increasingly involved in ‘extra-curricular’ musical activities. He composed a cantata every two weeks and had written four operas by the time he gave in totally to his real passion. Fame and fortune in a creative artist’s lifetime do not necessarily presage the judgement of posterity.