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Jan Ladislav Dussek, originaly Dusík

(*12.2.1760 Čáslav †20.3.1812 St. Germain-en-Laye)

Composer and pianist

He came from the family of musicians. He studied at the Jesuit school in Kutná Hora and Prague, and studied philosophy at the Prague University (for only one year). He led a very adventurous life. He traveled as a virtuoso to Holland and Germany (here his tutor was Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach). He worked also at the Court in St. Petersbug and under Radzivill in Latvia. From the mid-1780´s , he traveled around the Europe, and also played the glass harmonica. After the French Revolution in 1789, he left London, where he was unsuccessful as an editor. Due to his debts, he fled to Germany and later to France. He wrote several piano works with charakcteristics stemming from the Romantic period. He is a precursor of Chopin, Schumann and Mendelssohn. Many of his compositions have programmatic titles, such as The Sufferings of the Queen of France (1793). He wrote piano sonatas, concerts, sonatas for violin and piano and chamber music and comic opera The Captive of Spilberg (1798 in London) that was recently staged in 1978 and 2000 in Brno.