- Robin Langley
- , revised by Majella Boland
(b Dublin, bap. Sept 5, 1782; d Moscow, Jan 23, 1837). Irish composer, teacher, and pianist. He is credited for being the originator of the Nocturne and for the style of pianism regarded as ‘Chopinesque’. Although Field was not unique in composing in this style – notwithstanding that it predates his nocturnes – his domestic popularity, in part due to residing in Russia for over three decades and disseminating works through publications, secured a place for the nocturnes in piano literature. From this perspective, he might be best thought of as the father of the nocturne rather than its inventor, in the same way that Haydn is often referred to as the father of the symphony.
Of Protestant Irish stock, he was the eldest son of a professional violinist, Robert Field, and Grace Field (née Marsh), and the grandson of a professional organist, also John Field, from whom he received his first musical instruction. Ostensible parental pressure ensured rapid early progress and Tommaso Giordani accepted him as a pupil for a year, during which he performed in three public concerts in Dublin. At the first, on ...