John Field (1782–1837), was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher. Field is best known as the inventor of the nocturne.
He was born in Dublin into a musical family, and received his early education there, in particular with the Italian composer 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. He gave his last concert in March 1836 and died in Moscow almost a year later, on 23 January 1837, from pneumonia.
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 piano school.
Notable students include Prussian pianist and composer Charles Mayer, the Franco-Russian composer Alexandre Dubuque, and Polish pianist and composer Antoine de Kontski.