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Schetky, Johann Georg Christoph

Schetky, Johann Georg Christoph

Schetky, Johann Georg Christoph, German cellist and composer; b. Darmstadt, Aug. 19, 1737; d. Edinburgh, Nov. 29, 1824. The original family name was Von Teschky, and Schetky’s ancestors were from Transylvania. His father was a court official and musician in Hessen-Darmstadt. He became principal cellist in the Darmstadt court orch. in 1758, receiving instruction in composition from the court Vice-Kapellmeister Endler and in cello from Anton Filtz of Mannheim. After a sojourn in Hamburg (1768–69), he went to London in 1772, then settled in Edinburgh, where he was principal cellist of its Musical Society. He married Maria Anna Teresa Reinagle, sister of Alexander Reinagle. He played a prominent role in Edinburgh musical life, winning distinction as a composer for his chamber music, which included 6 string quartets, 6 string trios, 6 duos for Violin and Cello, 6 sonatas for Cello and Bass, harpsichord sonatas, and songs. He also composed syms., cello concertos, and vocal pieces. His son J(ohn) George Schetky (b. Edinburgh, June 1, 1776; d. Philadelphia, Dec. 11, 1831) was the second of 11 children; he emigrated to America in 1787; was naturalized in Philadelphia on Nov. 19, 1806. He appeared as a cellist in Philadelphia, and in c. 1800 entered into partnership with Benjamin Carr in the music pubi, business; was a co-founder of the Musical Fund Society in Philadelphia. His arrangement for military band of Koczwara’s Battle of Prague was much played.

Bibliography

L. Schetky, The S. Family; A Compilation of Letters, Memoirs and Historical Data (Portland, Ore., 1942).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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