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 Marie Pleyel

Marie Pleyel

Original Name Marie-Félicité-Denise Moke
Birth
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death 30 Mar 1875 (aged 63)
Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Arrondissement Brussel-Hoofdstad, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
Burial Brussels, Arrondissement Brussel-Hoofdstad, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
Memorial ID 79304140 · View Source
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Pianist. A celebrated 19th Century virtuoso, she was the only woman pianist of her time whose technique was consistently compared with that of Franz Liszt. Marie-Félicité-Denise Moke was born in Paris, to a Belgian-German father and French mother. A child prodigy at the piano, she studied with Ignaz Moscheles and Frederic Kalkbrenner and gave her first recital at age eight. From 1825 she was active as a concert performer. In her peak years (1836 to 1846) she toured France, Germany, Austria, Russia, and England, astonishing listeners with the ease and poetry in her interpretations of Beethoven and the early Romantic school. Chopin dedicated his Opus 9 "Nocturnes" (1833) to her; Liszt, a friend and onetime lover, remarked that "Madame Pleyel is not merely a great female pianist, she is one of the great artists of the world". Her famous admirers also included composers Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann, authors Alexander Dumas and Gerard de Nerval, and painter Eugene Delacroix. In 1842 she settled in Brussels, Belgium, and from 1848 taught piano at its Royal Conservatory. Known to her intimates as "Camilla", Pleyel was independent-minded in her career and her personal life. She had many affairs, most famously an engagement to composer Hector Berlioz, which she broke off in 1831 to marry piano manufacturer Camille Pleyel. This nearly drove Berlioz to a crime of passion, as he dashed from Italy to France intending to kill her and then himself; fortunately he came to his senses along the way. Camille Pleyel, who was 23 years his wife's senior, didn't fare much better. He divorced her in 1836 for infidelity and from then on Pleyel's mostly male colleagues perpetuated an image of her as a siren and femme fatale. But she remained highly respected in the European music scene. She retired in 1872 and died in Saint-Josse-ten-Node, near Brussels.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 26 Oct 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 79304140
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Marie Pleyel (4 Jul 1811–30 Mar 1875), Find A Grave Memorial no. 79304140, citing Laken Cemetery, Brussels, Arrondissement Brussel-Hoofdstad, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium ; Maintained by Find A Grave .