Johann Baptist Georg Neruda (1711-1776) was an early classical Czech composer, one of the leading Czech-born musicians of the middle part of the eighteenth century. Relative to other composers of the Classical music era Neruda is little known, and his usual dates of birth and death, c. 1707/8 to c. 1780, given in the Grove Dictionary, are only approximations. The latest research indicates that he was born Jan Křtitel Jiří Neruda z Rosic in 1711 probably in a village named “Rosice”, Bohemia, now part of the present Czech Republic, although it remains unclear which one, to a well-respected musical family.
Neruda is not an uncommon name for Czech musicians. He was the brother of Jan Chrysostomos Neruda and father of Ludvik and Antonin Bedrich Neruda, but apparently not related to the family founded by organist Josef Neruda or the Romantic-era Czech cellist Alois Neruda. Educated in Prague on the violin, Neruda got a job as a theater orchestra violinist while still a student, spending his earlier years gaining a good reputation as a violinist and conductor in Prague and, beginning in the early 1740s, Dresden, Germany, and kept it until 1750, when he joined the court orchestra at Dresden, rising to become its concertmaster.
A notable journeyman composer of the era, Neruda’s compositional output includes eighteen symphonies, fourteen instrumental concertos, including one for trumpet and another for bassoon, some trio sonatas, sacred works, and an opera Les Troqueurs. These were mostly in the new galant style that emerged after Baroque music fell out of favor. According to Nimbus Records Ltd. (1994), one of the composer’s more significant works is the Concerto in E-flat for Trumpet and Strings. Originally written for the “corno da caccia” or “natural horn” using only the high register, it is now rarely performed on anything other than an E-flat or B-flat trumpet. Incidentally, the Corno da Caccia for which Neruda wrote is not to be confused with the four-valved hunting horn which has recently been given the same name. The manuscript for this piece is in the National Library in Prague, along with several other unusual works for brass instruments. Neruda died on October 11, 1776 in Dresden.
The following work by Johann Baptiste Georg Neruda is contained in my collection:
Concerto in DM for Trumpet and Strings
—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources