Skip to main content


Engraving by Carl Meyer, Nuremberg, [c.1827].

Ignaz MOSCHELES (1794-1870)

March 2020

(b.Prague, 23 May 1794; d.Leipzig, 10 March 1870)

Moscheles, who died 150 years ago this month, is a key figure in 19th century music history: the close friend of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, important influence on Chopin and Schumann, brilliant international pianist, sought-after teacher and prolific composer.  Born in Prague, he studied in Vienna and toured widely before settling in London, where he was based for twenty-one years from 1825.  His London debut had created a sensation at the Philharmonic Society in 1821: in 1832 he was made a Director of the society and conducted the first performance of his own Symphony in C.  Meanwhile he had become a busy piano professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and in 1840 was appointed Pianist to Prince Albert.

The symphony is one of a handful of larger-scale works scattered through a predominantly solo (or drawing-room related) ouput and recent revivals of some of the others (e.g. seven of the eight piano concertos and a late cello sonata dedicated to Schumann) suggest that Moscheles’s own attitude to them may have been unduly modest.  However his challenging Studies and scrupulous editions of classical repertoire remained essential ingredients of piano study throughout the world until at least WW1.