24th February 1771
16th April 1858
Johann Baptist Cramer was an English musician of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer, a famous London violinist and musical conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Cramer was born in Mannheim and was brought to London as a child, where he worked for most of his musical career, lived most of his life and died.
From 1782 to 1784, he studied piano under Muzio Clementi and soon became a renowned professional pianist both in London and on the continent. He enjoyed a worldwide reputation, and was particularly appreciated by Beethoven when he visited Vienna, concertized and competed with him. Both were considered the greatest pianists of their time, Beethoven excelling in interpretive expressiveness, Cramer in pure technical perfection. He was the English publisher of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 and is credited with giving it its nickname, "The Emperor"