John Field, the greatest Irish musical figure of the Romantic era, developed a highly influential keyboard style. John Field has been ascribed for the invention of the Nocturne.
John Field was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1782, the eldest son of Irish parents who were members of the protestant Church of Ireland. John Field was a child prodigy, who made his musical debut at nine years of age. He was born into a musical family and received his first musical training from his father Robert Field and grandfather also called John Field both made their living as musicians. He later went on to study with Tommaso Giordani. When his family moved to London, he became an apprentice to composer/piano manufacturer Muzio Clementi. He continued to work for Muzio Clementi even as his popularity as a soloist increased and be became in demand in London,. His collaboration with Muzio ended in St. Petersburg Russia, there he was able to establish an independent musical career for himself. With the help of Russian General Marklovsky, who with his influential contacts, sponsored his stay in Russia. In Russia, he became an admired teacher and performer. He married one of his students and was a father to four children. He would remain in Russia for the rest of his life, where he achieved remarkable success as both pianist and composer. He was a phenomenal artist despite suffering from alcoholism and finally succumbing to cancer in Moscow at the age of fifty-five. His legacy is as an influential figure in Romantic piano composition.
John Field influenced many as he created a trademark keyboard style at a time when piano music was demonstrated by forms and genres like the sonata, theme and variations, fantasia, rondo, and fugue. He paved the way for generations of Romantic era composers. He influenced many great musicians like Brahms, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Chopin, all of whom were grateful to John Field.