Frederick the Great, or Friedrich II of Prussia, ruled from 1740 to 1786. Frederick is best known as one of the proponents of enlightened absolutism and for his military exploits, most notably during the Seven Years War. Frederick had an interest in the arts at an early age, most notably as a flautist. When he came to power he courted musicians, most famously Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and other artists, as well as philosophers. He had an intense and volatile friendship with the French philosopher Voltaire. A meeting with Johann Sebastian Bach was responsible for the latter's The Musical Offering, one of the finest pieces of Bach's repertoire. As a composer himself, Frederick composed over 100 sonatas for the flute and four symphonies. The "Hohenfriedberger Marsch" was written to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg during the second Silesian War. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.