Beer, Joseph


Remarkable clarinettist and writer of music for that instrument At the time of his death, which occurred at Potsdam, Joseph Beer held the post of Royal Prussian chamber-musician. He was born at Grunwald, Bohemia. During the Seven Years' War, he served as a field-trumpeter, in both the French and Austrian Armies. In Paris, in 1771, he took up the clarinet, became the best player of his day, and was greeted everywhere he went with the greatest enthusiasm. He traveled in various countries of Europe, Russia, Italy, Hungary and Holland. Among his compositions are concertos, duets and variations. Joseph Beer greatly improved the clarinet by the addition of a fifth key. As a player he was noted for his power of expression as well as his mastery of the instrument.