He was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher. Field is
best known as the inventor of the nocturne,
but there is evidence to suggest that this is a posthumous accolade. He is
mentioned in passing in War and Peace when
Countess Rostova calls on the Rostov household musician to play her favourite
He was born in Dublin intoa musical family, and received his early education there, in particular with
the immigrant Tommaso Giordani. The Fields soon moved to
London, where Field studied under Muzio Clementi.
Under his tutelage, Field quickly became a famous and sought-after concert
pianist. Together, master and pupil visited Paris, Vienna,
and St. Petersburg. Ambiguity surrounds Field's
decision to remain in the former Russian capital, but it is likely that Field
acted as a sales representative for the Clementi Pianos.
Field was very highly regarded by his contemporaries and his playing and compositions
influenced many major composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann,
and Franz Liszt.
Although little is known of Field in Russia, he undoubtedly contributed
substantially to concerts and teaching, and to the development of the Russian