Biography of Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812)

Czech pianist and composer. Son of the singer Jan Dussek, began his piano studies at the age of 5 and received a complete musical education until the age of 18. In 1779 he began his career as a virtuoso of this instrument, for five years touring in concerts in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Russia. In 1786 he settled in Paris and three years after the revolution forced him to take refuge in London, where he lived for the next eleven years and founded a Publisher Domenico Corri. There he became friends with Haydn, who considered him one of the most eminent musicians of the time, and became the most famous pianist and teacher in England. In 1791 he got the signature Broadwood pianos manufacturer expand octaves on the keyboard from five to five and a half and in 1794 to six.

Because of bankruptcy, in 1799 he fled to Hamburg and after new tours, in 1803 met the Prince Luis Fernando de Prusia, for whom he was Professor. On the death of the Prince, he devoted himself to organizing concerts in Talleyrand, and in 1808 he achieved great success with a series of concerts organized at the Paris Odéon. Most of his work is written for piano or piano, taking special interest their numerous sonatas and variations. The style of his works (especially that of the piano sonatas) varies from classicism to romanticism early. His early works are influenced by classicism, while as it is maturing is closer to the romantic composers, mainly Schumann, Liszt and Chopin. With their latest sonatas (in total wrote forty), Elegie harmonique, Le retour de Paris, Dussek, Plus Ultra and L´invocation already made the step to the sonority of the romantic piano. The quality of their fifteen piano concertos is irregular, while they also highlight his production works of music singing, especially the Quartet with piano op. 53 and the Quintet with piano op. 41. also was the author of one hundred extensive works of Chamber music, two works for theatre, a solemn mass and numerous songs, as well as the pedagogical Treaty Méthode nouvelle pour pionoforte (1796).


Marc Honegger. Dictionary of music. Madrid, Espasa Calpe, Second Edition, 1993.

History of classical music. Madrid, planet, 1983.