Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great shaped Prussia, and in doing so shaped western culture as a whole. Der alte Fritz is influential even today. He is surprisngly "modern". His bad luck was to be born a Prince because that carried obligations. (Hmmm sounds like another Frederick)
Like his gifted musical sisters Wilhelmine and Anna Amalia, Frederick was also educated in music. His court's musical establishment, whose members included such prominent musicians as C. P. E. Bach*, J. J. Quantz*, C. H. Graun and F. Benda**, was for a time a centre of German musical life.
Frederick the Great himself is known to have composed 121 flute sonatas,
four flute concertos, a "Symphony" in G major, a March in E flat major, various arias, and an overture to "Il Re pastore." Apart from the wholly Italianate arias, Frederick's works were written in the "mixed style" advocated by Quantz, an attempt to blend "Italian music of the senses" with "French music of reason". He is said to have played his instrument "respectably". His execution of slow movements was highly praised, but in fast movements he is said to have been apt to take undue liberties with the tempo.
* These three composers are very much in the repertoire of many orchestras and small Baroque groups still.
** The Benda family, from Bohemia, is still represented today, and are players who enjoy a place in baroque music performance.
Great topic MW
Indeed, gifted he was - but also a difficult character.
Here's one example of his music - a flute concertohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOXzSOXP_PY