Antonín Kraft Biography (Wikipedia)
Antonín Kraft (December 30, 1749, Rokycany – 28 August 1820, Vienna) was a Czech cellist and composer. He was a close friend of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Kraft was born in the Bohemian town of Rokycany of a German Bohemian ethnic family which had assimilated into Czech. He received early musical education on the cello from his father before going to university in Vienna to study law. He soon obtained a position in the Imperial Hofkapelle. In 1778 he was appointed cellist in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's orchestra, where he met and studied composition with Haydn. In 1783 Haydn wrote his second cello concerto in D (Hob. VIIb/2, Op. 101) for Kraft. After Esterházy died in 1790, his successor, Prince Anton Esterházy, dismissed most of the court orchestra. Kraft went to Vienna and became a founding member of the Schuppanzigh Quartet, where he helped establish the traditions of string quartet playing. He played in the Grassalkovich court and from 1796 was employed in the orchestra of Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz. He died on 28 August 1820 in Vienna.