Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist who was almost completely self-taught in music. Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music. He was and still is one of the most prolific composers in history (at least in terms of surviving oeuvre) and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time: he was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally.
Myers feels Telemann used to get less respect than he does now and was somewhat used as an example of baroque composers that one shouldn't really bother with: “In the 50s and early 60s, a lot of baroque music was unearthed and recorded that perhaps should have been left to rest in peace. This may in part account for John's choice of composers in this scene, because the point of Sir Bertram’s concert is to drive the sole member of the audience out of his skull with boredom!”