The famous German conductor, organist and harpsichordist Karl Richter (1926-1981) was born in Plauen, Thuringia, the Bach family's native region. After his years as a choirboy at Dresden's Kreuzkirche ("I sang in virtually all the cantatas and passions"), he studied in Leipzig with the St. Thomas cantors Günther Ramin and Karl Straube and was appointed organist at the Thomaskirche in 1949. He moved to Munich in 1951 and founded his choral and orchestral ensembles shortly thereafter. Karl Richter absorbed the Bach tradition from the source, in the cities where the composer had lived and worked. Although he saw several dramatic shifts in Baroque performance practice during his lifetime, he remained true to his own style. This was a "de-romanticized" Bach which featured a reduced body of performers more in keeping with the composer's original forces.