Was there any reason Bach didn't follow the trends of the times? He was surely very much in touch with contemporary composers, and knew of Handel's and Scarlatti's works specifically. Amazingly, he composed not a single opera in his life. Did his influences lead him to focus on perfecting the existing High Baroque style, or were there other reasons for not following the rapidly changing style? I am tempted to say that as a very cerebral man, the Baroque style (in particular the fugue) better suited him, but I know few of the musicological facts here. Also notable is the high volume/proportion of religious music Bach composed, when the tendencies were increasingly secular everywhere. (He composed many great masses, despite the lacks of operas.)
J. S. Bach was positioned at an interesting period in musical history, without doubt. Born when the Baroque style was still predominant and flourishing, most of his later life represents the beginning of the Classical period. In fact, his birth year of 1685 was shared with both G. F. Handel and Domenico Scarlatti, the latter in particular who adopted (and indeed helped develop) the early Classical style. It is perhaps less surprising then that Bach's style was often deemed "turgid" and somewhat outdated in his own day. There is no doubt he was a "culminator" rather than an "initiator" of styles however. His true genius was recognised and his works acclaimed from around the start of the Romantic period.