Defined as a piece of metal, cast or struck, often coin-shaped, commemorative medallions are issued to honor a notable event or person. Johann Sebastian Bach was such a person, and his music created such events.
As a native son, he was, and is, much loved by the German people in particular, and the world at large. Born to a talented family, originally named Eisenbach, and devoted to music from childhood, Johann Sebastian Bach, in life, was ignored as a composer, but celebrated as an organist. Since his rediscovery in the 19th century his reputation has steadily grown, until he is now recognized as one of the greatest and most influential composers of the western world.
As with most composers of his time, his career was spent as a musician, and then musical director for royalty and the church. It culminated with the position of music director at the church of St. Thomas, in Leipzig. He was married twice, and his second wife, the musically cultivated Anna Magdalena Wulken, eventually bore him 13 children.