(from BBC Radio 4)
Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07bbk4g
Alistair McGowan travels to Dublin to explore the sensational life of his musical hero – the 19th century Irish pianist and composer John Field. Born in Dublin in 1782, Field was a child prodigy who left Ireland at an early age to become apprentice to the great Italian composer and piano maker Clementi. Clementi took Field on a tour of Europe and Russia, demonstrating his considerable talents and showcasing Clementi's pianos.
Field was to live in Russia for the rest of his life and Russia welcomed Field with open arms – he became the darling of high society, as well as one of the most celebrated and influential pianists of his day. His playing and his invention of a new kind of piano piece, the nocturne, were to influence Chopin, Liszt, Schumann and Mendelssohn.
Interviewees include pianists John O'Conor, Finnuala Moynihan, Finghin Collins and architectural historian Finola O'Kane.
Produced by Emma Harding.