Beck, Johann Heinrich


Born in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents were Germans. Began studying, when very young, on the violin. Went to Leipsic in 1879, and studied the piano, violin and viola, also theory and composition under Reinecke, Jadassohn, Richter and others. When he returned to America, in 1882, he settled in Cleveland where he has since lived as a teacher and violinist. He organized the Schubert Quartet of Cleveland. His works consist of a cantata on Bayard Taylor's Deukalion; overtures to Byron's Lara and to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; an unfinished music-drama, Salammbu; several compositions for strings, violin music and songs. He has been called by some, "the greatest of American composers." His music is all in manuscript. Although much of it has been performed, none of it has yet been printed. Several of his works, which were given in Germany, won great favor.