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Clementi, Muzio

Clementi, Muzio (b Rome, 1752; d Evesham, 1832). Eng. pianist and composer of It. birth. Church org. at age of 13. In 1766 went to Eng. under patronage of Peter Beckford and for 7 years studied and practised hpd. at Steepleton Iwerne, Dorset. London début as pianist and composer 1775. Cond. It. opera in London 1777–8. His 6 kbd. sonatas, Op.2, were pubd. 1779 and became popular. In 1781 began his tours of Europe in which he engaged with other pianists (incl. Mozart) in public tests of skill in improvisation, sight-reading, etc. Returned to London 1783, composing several syms., pf. conc., and coll. of 100 studies, Gradus ad Parnassum, which remains a foundation of pf. technique. Comp. over 100 piano sonatas, some of them valued highly by Beethoven, whom Clementi met in 1807. Among pupils were John Field, Moscheles, Kalkbrenner, and Cramer. Also went into the business of making pfs., becoming partner in London firm, Clementi & Co., which in 1832 became Collard & Collard. Clementi's early sonatas were written for the hpd., but after 1780 his allegiance was to the piano.

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Clementi, Muzio

Muzio Clementi (mōō´tsēō klāmĕn´tē), 1752–1832, Italian composer, pianist, and conductor, b. Rome. He wrote more than 100 keyboard sonatas, which set the definitive form, and he had an enormous influence on almost everything concerning the piano. Educated in Italy, he went (1766) to England to live and study. In 1773 he caused a sensation in London as a pianist and conductor; there he conducted the Italian Opera from 1777 to 1780. In 1780 he went on a concert tour of Europe, which climaxed in a piano contest with Mozart. He returned to London in 1782 and, except for tours on the Continent (1802, 1810, 1820–21), spent the rest of his life there. Clementi amassed a fortune as performer, conductor, and proprietor of a piano factory and publishing house. Teacher of many musicians, including the pianists J. B. Cramer and John Field and the composer Meyerbeer, he is especially remembered for his series of études, Gradus ad Parnassum (1817); he also wrote several symphonies.

See catalog by A. Tyson (1967).

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