Ignaz Joseph Pleyel
From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
IGNAZ JOSEPH PLEYEL (1757-1831), Austrian musician, was born at Ruppersthal, near Vienna, on the 1st of June 1757, the twenty-fourth son of a poor village schoolmaster. He studied the pianoforte under Van Hal (known in England as Vanhall), and in 1772 learned composition from Haydn, who became his dearest friend. He was appointed temporary maitre de chapelle at Strasburg in 1783, receiving a permanent appointment to the office in 1789. In 1791 he paid a successful visit to London. He narrowly escaped the guillotine on returning to Strasburg, and was only saved by the existence of a cantata which he had written, and in which the inspiration could fairly be claimed to be on the side of liberty; so that he was permitted to remain until 1795, when he migrated to Paris. Here he opened a large music shop, published the first complete edition of Haydn's quartets, and founded, in 1807, the pianoforte manufactory which still bears his name. The latter years of his life were spent in agricultural pursuits. The July revolution of 1830 inflicted upon him a severe shock, and on the 14th of November 1831 he died in Paris.
Maria Pleyel, née Moke (1811-1875), the wife of his eldest son, Camille, was one of the most accomplished pianists of her time.