Fischer, Johann Christian


He was born in Freiburg, Germany, and was long known and celebrated in England for his admirable performance on the hautboy, for which he showed a predilection early in life. His first public appearance as a mu- sician was as a member of the King of Poland's band at Dresden. He afterwards went to Berlin, where he accompanied the musician King, Frederick of Prussia, alone for four hours a day. He next went to Mannheim and from there to Paris, where he performed at the Concert Spirituel. He was also extremely popular in London, where he was heard at Vauxhall Gardens. When the Queen's band was formed Fischer was appointed one of Her Majesty's chamber-musicians, and upon the establishment of a weekly concert by Bach and Abel in Hanover Square he was engaged as a performer and also composer for them. In this connection he wrote several hautboy concertos, which he played to the delight of the auditors. The compositions were original, fanciful and interesting, according to the musicians of the day. J.  C. Bach wrote for him a quartet for two oboes, viola and violoncello, which he often played. Fischer left England in 1786, but returned to London the next year and passed the remainder of his life there. He married Mary, a daughter of Gainsborough, the famous painter, but the marriage proved unhappy, and Fischer's life became much embittered. He died of apoplexy during a performance at Her Majesty's concert in 1803. Fischer's compositions consist principally of solos; duets; concertos, and quartets. Mozart wrote variations for Fischer's Minuet in 1773, and it was most popular at the time and so continued for many years.