Michael Haydn - Contemporary composers


FRANZ IGNAZ von BEECKE (1733 - 1803)

  Franz Ignaz von Beecke was born in Wimpfen am Neckar, Germany on October 28th 1733. He probably had some musical training during childhood, but he seems to have taught himself to play the harpsichord.

He began his career in the military. From 1756 in the Bavarian Dragoon Regiment of Zollern, participating in several battles in the 'Seven year's war'. In 1759 he was transferred to the Oettingen-Wallerstein contingent of the Württemberg Dragoon Regiment, where he remained until his retirement in 1792, ranked as major. He was made personal adjudant to Count Kraft Ernst von Oettingen-Wallerstein.

As a musician Beecke was a 'nobile dillettante'. Meaning someone who turned to music, not to make a living, but as a pleasurable pastime. In this role however, he had greater succes than many professional musicians. He was known primarily as a keyboard virtuoso, but also as a fine composer. He composed sacred music, singspiels, songs, around twenty symphonies, chamber music, piano concertos and piano music. He studied with Gluck and was greatly influenced by F.J. Haydn whom he met in 1790.

Beecke, who travelled widely (eg. to Vienna and Paris) died on january 2nd 1803 in Wallerstein.


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