John Field

(26/07/1782 - 23/01/1837)

 John Field, born in Dublin in 1782 for whom Field Avenue in Walkinstown is named after. John Field came from a family of musical professionals. They moved to London in 1793, Field studied under the talented composer Muzio Clementi and became a famous concert pianist. Later he became known as a composer and teacher.

In 1802 Field and Clementi visited Paris, Vienna (where Field met and was highly praised by Beethoven) and St. Petersburg. Their purpose was to perform and also sell Clementi’s pianos. In 1806 Field gave his first concert in Moscow and soon began to publish his own works.

Subsequently, he was called ‘The Father of the Nocturne’ – a musical composition that is inspired by the night – and is credited as its creator, despite it being associated with Frederic Chopin, who actually made the piano nocturne famous. Franz Liszt published an edition of nocturnes based on rare Russian sources that contained late revisions by Field and for which Liszt praised him highly.

While in Russia Field gave some lessons to Mikhail Glinka, who much later became the first notable Russian composer.

He never returned to Ireland and worked mainly between St. Petersburg and Moscow for three decades following his travels in Europe in the early 1800s.

His health worsened in the mid 1820s and his concert appearances occurred less frequently partially because of his extravagant lifestyle. He headed to England for medical treatment in 1831 and eventually returned to Moscow where he gave his last concert in 1836 and died on 23 January 1837 at fifty four years of age.

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Connection with area: Irish pianist, composer, and inventor of the nocturne who has Field Avenue named after him.