b Dublin, July 1782
d Moscow, 23 January 1837, aged fifty-four
One of several children of a musical family, he was compelled to take up music in order to supplement their income. In 1793 the family left Dublin, stayed briefly in Bath, then moved to London. Already a fine pianist, he was apprenticed to Clementi as a demonstrator of pianos. He began serious composition when he was fourteen. In 1802 Clementi took him to Paris, Vienna and St Petersburg, and in 1806 he first appeared in Moscow as a concert pianist. He became very popular, and wealthy, as a teacher; but by 1830 his health had deteriorated, due to drink and other indulgences. In 1831 he left Russia for a concert tour of Europe, even though cancer was slowly killing him, and he returned to Moscow in 1835, hardly able to play or teach. His great contribution to music was his invention of the nocturne.
Three Nocturnes for piano
fp Piano Concerto No 1 in Eb major
Field also composed: seven concertos; four sonatas; twenty nocturnes; six rondos; two divertissements; two fantasias; two piano quintets; four romances, etc.