- Laurence Libin
(bc1730; d London, UK, Jan 2, 1804). English piano maker, possibly of German origin. During the 1750s he worked as an organ builder in St Pancras parish, London; he married in Soho in 1760. His workshop, established in 1768 on Compton Street, Soho (very near the premises of Frederick Neubauer, who advertised pianos for sale in 1763), produced more than 900 square pianos, many apparently sold and even copied abroad; his earliest known signed piano dates from 1771 (earlier he probably made pianos for Jacob and Abraham Kirkman and others in the trade) and the latest from 1798. Beyer’s instruments exhibit refined craftsmanship and unusual features that added to their cost and doubtless appealed to an elite clientele. Some of Beyer’s pianos incorporated organs. One square from about 1775, probably commissioned by Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, for Syon House, Middlesex, is enclosed in a remarkably ornate ...