For a period of nearly fifteen years John Abraham Fisher (1744-1806) was a figure of prominence in the musical life of 18th-century London. Fisher studied with Thomas Pinto and began working as a violinist in London theatre orchestras, making his debut at the King's Theatre on 25 January 1765. He became attached to the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in 1767 where, in addition to composing incidental music, he led the orchestra during the period 1769-1778. Fisher's theatrical music enjoyed considerable success and the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (28 February 1776)praised the composer's music for the masque, The Syrens, stating that "natural genius, and scientific knowledge, are happily blended in the music, and several of the airs would not disgrace the first Italian masters".
Like most English-born composers Fisher's music did not find a place in the winter concerts series in London (such as that organised by J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel) which were often organised by continental musicians and which even more often featured the music of continental composers. Such marginalisation did not deter Fisher, however, and he was able to find other performance opportunities for his music. In addition to his theatrical music he composed an oratorio, Providence, which was first heard in Oxford on 2 July 1777 following the award of a Doctor of Music degree. This work was repeated in London in 1778 and 1800. His songs and symphonic works were performed in the concerts of the summer pleasure gardens of London, especially at Vauxhall Gardens where Fisher led the orchestra ca. 1769-1773.
After 1778 Fisher returned to a more active performing career as a violinist and he began a series of European concert tours in 1780 which took him to France, Germany, Russia and Austria. Michael Kelly records Fisher's arrival in Vienna from Russia in 1783 and his unusual courtship of the celebrated English singer, Anna Selina (Nancy) Storace. Their brief and stormy marriage ended with the Emperor ordering Fisher to leave Austria in 1784. Few details of this period in Fisher's career survive, although Lady Morgan records that Fisher was tempted over to Dublin immediately on his return from his tour to France, Italy and Germany, and a long visit to that royal fanatico per la musica, Frederic the Great'. Fisher spent his final years in Dublin, dependant on the generosity of Sir Owen Wynn. It is possible that his affected personality, so vividly recorded by Lady Morgan (daughter of Sir Owen Wynn), undermined his popular support in the late years of his life. The Gentleman's Magazine records his death in Ireland in the June issue of 1806.