Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (April or May, 1562 in Deventer – 16 October 1621 in Amsterdam) was a Dutch composer, organist, and pedagogue whose work straddled the end of the Renaissance and beginning of the Baroque eras. He was among the first major keyboard composers of Europe, and his work as a teacher helped establish the north German organ tradition.
He was born in Deventer, Netherlands, in April or May 1562. Soon after Sweelinck's birth, the family moved to Amsterdam, where from about 1564, Pieter Swybbertszoon served as organist of the Oude Kerk.
According to Cornelis Plemp, a pupil and friend of Sweelinck's, he started his 44-year career as organist of the Oude Kerk in 1577, when he was 15. Sweelinck's first published works date from around 1592–94. He died of unknown causes on 16 October 1621 and was buried in the Oude Kerk.
The composer most probably spent his entire life in Amsterdam, only occasionally visiting other cities in connection with his professional activities: he was asked to inspect organs, give opinions and advice on organ building and restoration, etc. His popularity as a composer, performer and teacher increased steadily during his lifetime. Contemporaries nicknamed him Orpheus of Amsterdam and even the city authorities frequently brought important visitors to hear Sweelinck's improvisations, and his compositional influence spread as far as England and Sweden.
Sweelinck's setting of "Nun komm" is quite grandiose and in the "old style" with long, austere notes for the chorale, underpinned by elaborate passages in the left hand. The last verse stands in grave grandeur, and is played upon the grand plenum of the Hoofdwerk.
The score is attached below, as well as a portrait of Sweelinck (painted by his brother), several photos of the Oude Kerk, and the first publication of "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland," dating from 1524.