WATERLOO — Apparently, it was the trumpet itself that was largely to blame for the death of J.S. Bach’s primary trumpeter, Gottfried Reiche, in 1737.

The much-storied tragedy happened the day after a particularly gruelling concert when Reiche simply dropped dead of a stroke while walking on the street and the story has since been used as an example of how truly difficult baroque-era trumpets are to play.

Like an athlete, New York-based baroque trumpet master John Thiessen must stick to a physical fitness regime, with lots of deprivations, in order to remain in top shape.

“I do stretches, no coffee before a concert, more protein and vegetables,” said Thiessen. “Physically, you have to be smart and strict.”

On Jan. 31, music lovers will have an opportunity to hear a very fit and very accomplished Thiessen perform “Glorious Baroque” with equally accomplished organist, Jan Overduin, at First United Church in Waterloo.

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