BRAUNEIS, JOHN CHRISOSTOMUS (baptized Johann Chrysostomus; he also signed Jean), musician, teacher, and merchant; baptized 29 March 1785 in Herrnsheim (Federal Republic of Germany), son of Franz Benedikt Brauneis, teacher, and Katharina ––; m. Christine Hudson, and they had at least three sons; d. 15 Sept. 1832 at Quebec.
John Chrisostomus Brauneis was a musician in the band of the 70th Foot and probably arrived at Quebec on 4 Nov. 1813 with his regiment. His son Jean-Chrysostome* was born the following January and baptized in Notre-Dame cathedral. Brauneis enjoyed some success teaching piano in the city but he had to give it up, probably in the summer of 1814 when the 70th departed for Cornwall, Upper Canada. By September 1818 he had left his regiment in Kingston and returned to Quebec; on the 17th he advertised in the Quebec Gazette as a piano teacher with residence on Rue Sainte-Famille.
In addition to teaching and performing (the wind instrument he played has not been identified), Brauneis composed music. On 27 Feb. 1819 his “Grand Overture of Quebec” was played by the band of the 60th Foot in a public hall as the governor-in-chief, Charles Lennox*, Duke of Richmond and Lennox, made his entrance; the composition was dedicated to the duke’s daughter Lady Mary Lennox. Brauneis advertised in the Quebec Gazette copies of this piece and of one written in September 1819 in memory of the duke’s death. Presumably the copies were prepared by hand on demand; no printed or manuscript versions have come to light.
By August 1821 Brauneis had moved to Rue de la Fabrique where he taught piano, violin, flute, and flageolet in English and French. In June 1822 he was importing these instruments from London and offering them for sale; in addition he advertised clarinets and French horns, violin strings and bassoon and clarinet reeds, printed music and music paper. Five years later he applied for permission to operate a billiard hall. About 1830 he opened a music store on Rue Saint-Jean.
In 1831 Brauneis became master of a band formed under the patronage of Joseph-François Perrault*, lieutenant-colonel of a militia artillery battalion at Quebec. A music enthusiast who was independent of fortune, Perrault hoped to give his unit a band equal to those of the British regiments in garrison. He provided Brauneis with the best musicians in the town, including Michel-Charles Sauvageau*. The band was apparently busy during the five or six months it existed; a cholera epidemic that swept Quebec at the time may account for its premature demise and was possibly the cause of Brauneis’s own death in 1832.
ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 27 janv. 1814, 17 sept. 1832. Quebec Gazette, 17 Sept. 1818; 8 March, 16 Sept. 1819; 13 Aug. 1821; 17 June 1822; 29 May, 9 June 1823. Encyclopedia of music in Canada, ed. Helmut Kallmann et al. (Toronto, 1981). The service of British regiments in Canada and North America . . . , comp. C. H. Stewart (Ottawa, 1962). Willy Amtmann, La musique au Québec, 1600–1875, Michelle Pharand, trad. (Montréal, 1976), 375–76. Helmut Kallmann, A history of music in Canada, 1534–1914 (Toronto and London, 1960), 71. T.-L. Brassard et É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les deux musiciens Braunies,” BRH, 41 (1935): 641–42. Nazaire LeVasseur, “Musique et musiciens à Québec: souvenirs d’un amateur,” La Musique (Québec), 1 (1919): 75–76. P.-G. Roy, “À propos de musique: la première fanfare québécoise,” BRH, 43 (1937): 353–54.