The eighteenth-century composer and string player, Joseph Reinagle (Junior), was born to a family of German immigrants in Portsmouth, 1762. Joseph Reinagle Senior was the appointed trumpeter to the king and Reinagle Junior later learnt both the French horn and trumpet from his father. The young Reinagle was very much part of a musical family, his brothers Hugh and Alexander being proficient at the cello and piano respectively.
Reinagle was first intended for the navy but after the family relocated to Edinburgh he was apprenticed to a local jeweller. However, Reinagle decided to focus on pursuing a career as a multi-instrumentalist and composer, learning the cello from his brother-in-law, Johann Schetky, and picking up both the violin and viola. He became a celebrated musician and soloist, leading the orchestra of St. Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh and performing in London and Dublin. Reinagle was regularly principal cellist in the major London orchestras and played in Salomon’s Haydn concerts. Reinagle formed a friendship with Haydn from whom he also received appreciated compositional advice. He moved to Oxford in the 1790s, remaining there until his death in 1825. Reinagle’s legacy includes a number of works for violin, viola, cello, and piano, as well as a method book entitled ‘A Concise Introduction to the Art of Playing the Violoncello’.