John Louis Dussek, a Bohemian composer and pianist, born at Czaslau, Feb. 9, 1761, died in Paris, March 20, 1812. His father, John Joseph Dussek, was organist and choir master at Czaslau, and he had learned to play the piano with much facility at the age of five.
He became a choir boy at the convent of Iglau, and there pursued the study of music. He afterward attended the university of Prague, receiving the degree of bachelor of philosophy, and commenced his professional life in Belgium as organist of the church of St. Rombaut at Mechlin. He resided also at Amsterdam and the Hague. In 1783 he went to Hamburg to consult Emanuel Bach, and receiving encouragement from him he took up his temporary residence at Berlin, and there excited much attention by his pianoforte playing. He went in turn during three succeeding years to Paris, to Milan, and to London, where he married and became a music publisher. In this he failed, and to avoid his creditors fled to Hamburg. After various wanderings he at last about 1807 settled in Paris, where he became concert master to Prince Talleyrand. He published 76 compositions. Those among them which he regarded as the best are known by the opus numbers 9, 10, 14, and 35. As a pianist he achieved a great distinction, and was among the first to make the piano popular at concerts.
The instruments of this class were in his day very weak and imperfect, but by his broad style and great dexterity he overcame these disadvantages.