Sophia Giustina Dussek

Scottish singer, pianist, harpist and composer. Sophia Dussek was born into the Italian Corri family. She studied voice with her father, composer, music publisher, and impresario Domenico Corri. Her uncle was composer Natale Corri and her cousin was soprano Fanny Corri-Paltoni. Her father provided Sophia with vocal instruction and had her performing from a young age. She was well known as a soprano and composer of songs.An impresario is the leader, and sometimes owner, of an opera house or theatre.

After moving to London in 1788, she studied with Luigi Marchesi and Giovanni Battista Cimador. Dussek was a highly accomplished performer and she had her London debut at the prestigious Salomon concerts in 1791 with Haydn directing from the harpsichord, and afterwards sang quite a bit of the series, taking part in the first performance of HaydnŐs The Storm. She also played a significant role in the introduction of MozartŐs music to London. She was a soloist in the London premiere of the Requiem, given at John AshleyŐs Lenten Oratorios, Covent Garden, on 20 February 1801. In 1792 she married Jan Ladislav Dussek. She had been performing, singing and playing the piano and harp with him for some time before that. Their daughter, Olivia, was also a pianist, harpist, and composer.

After Jan LadislavŐs death in 1812 Sophia married the viola player John Alvis Moralt. They lived in Paddington, where she established a music school. She published sonatas, rondos, variations, and numerous arrangements for the piano or harp. The opus 2 sonatas were published in at least 3 editions in the 1790s by the Corri-Dussek company in London as by Madame Dussek, and there is no reason to doubt that the 6 sonatas of opus 2, including the famous C minor sonata published and misattributed by Schott as by Jan Ladislav, are anything but the work of Sophia. Paris editions of opus 2 published by Pleyell only bear the name Dussek, leading misattribution, but nobody actually claimed opus 2 as the work of Jan Ladislav rather than Dussek before the mid-20th century.

A Partial Sophia Dussek Discography |  XIIC: From the 'Galant' to the 'Biedermayer' | The Research Periods | Home

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