To the Irish pianist and composer John Field has been credited the invention of the Nocturne, a form later adopted and developed by Chopin. Field was born in Dublin in 1782, the son of a violinist, but moved with his family to London in 1793, perhaps taking violin lessons from Haydn’s friend Salomon. He became an apprentice of Muzio Clementi, appearing in a series of important London concerts, and later touring widely. After concerts in Russia, he remained in St. Petersburg, where he became a fashionable teacher and performer, moving to Moscow in 1821. Illness brought him, in 1831, to London again, a visit followed by a continental tour and a final return to Moscow, where he died in 1837.
Although Field wrote seven piano concertos and a series of chamber compositions for piano and strings, his chief claim on posterity lies in his eighteen Nocturnes.