August Wilhelm Bach was born in Berlin on October 4, 1796. There is no relationship with the Johann Sebastian Bach family.
He received his first organ lessons from his father Gottfried, who was himself an organist at the Berlin Trinity Church and secretary at the royal lottery office.
In 1814 he continued music and organ lessons first with Karl Friedrich Zelter and then with Michael Gotthard Fischer, who was himself a student of Bach's student Johann Christian Kittel. Bach organ works were always there; with focus on Johann Sebastian Bach.
From 1816 A. W. Bach worked as an organist at the Marienkirche in Berlin and, in addition to the church services, played numerous organ concerts.
Just as important as his position as organist was his work as an organ specialist and pedagogue. During his teaching activities at the Royal Institute for Church Music and at the Academy of Arts he taught hundreds of students. The best known include Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Otto Nicolai and
A. G. Ritter.
Through his varied activities, Bach significantly shaped the type of Prussian teacher-organist of the 19th and 20th centuries. He died in Berlin on April 15, 1869, in high regard.