Baermann, Heinrich Joseph


The Baermanns (Barmanns) were a remarkable family of musicians, Heinrich, his brother, son, and grandson all attaining eminence in the world of music. Heinrich Joseph was a famous clarinet player, and his compositions for the clarinet are much esteemed by the players of today. He was on terms of intimacy with Meyerbeer and was a contemporary and friend of Karl Maria von Weber and Mendelssohn. Weber wrote for him several clarinet-concertos, and it was for Baermann that Mendelssohn wrote the duets for clarinet and basset-horn known as opus 113. Baermann was born at Potsdam, and attended the oboe school there. As a clarinettist he was given a place in the band of the Royal Guard, where his skill won the patronage of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. He appeared at the Prince's private concerts, and received instruction from the royal chamber-musician. After the defeat of Jena, Baermann was one of the prisoners-of-war. On his release he returned to Berlin, and presently was given the appointment of clarinettist m the Court band at Munich. A series of concert tours, begun in 1808, made his name known throughout Europe. Also as a composer Baermann won many triumphs. On his death, which occurred at Munich, he left behind numerous compositions, which are favorites with clarinet players of today. His brother Karl, 1782-1842, was a bassoon-player of renown.