Oboist, conductor, and composer. His father, Johann Georg, was oboist in Saxon courts, and Johann Christian himself joined a regimental band in Hannover (as oboist) at an early age. Upon leaving the band in 1789 he went to London, where he possibly played in Salomon's orchestra assembled for Haydn's London visit of 1791-92. During the mid-1790s he went to North America, landing first at Prince Edward Island in Canada. By 1795 he was in Charleston, S.C., where he performed concerts and (in 1796) married an English-born singer, Catherine Hillier, who was later to be an important presence in the musical life of Boston. After settling in Boston around 1797, in 1801 Graupner co-founded the American Conservatorio, chiefly a music publishing venture. In 1810 he also founded the Boston Philharmonic Society, and five years later was a cofounder of what later became the Handel and Haydn Society. He published a widely used Rudiments of the Art of Playing on the Piano-Forte (Boston, 1806; 2nd ed., 1819), as well as instructional books for the clarinet and flute.