Franz Ignaz Beck was born and educated in Mannheim although most of his professional career was spent in France. He studied initially with his father, Aloys Beck, and later with Johann Stamitz whose technique of orchestral writing certainly influenced Beck.
After several years working in Italy Beck moved to Marseilles in the late-1750s. The date of his arrival in France is uncertain but he must have been well-known by reputation at least as more than twenty of his symphonies were published in rapid succession by Parisian firms beginning in the late 1750s.
Beck moved from Marseilles to Bordeaux where he was eventually appointed conductor of the Grand Théâtre. He seems to have had little difficulty adjusting to the revolutionary climate; he wrote patriotic music during the Revolution, including a Hymn à l'être suprême and in 1803 the new government expressed its approval by naming him correspondent of music composition for the Institute of France.