Ignaz early developed a passion for the (then revolutionary) piano music of Beethoven, which the Mozartean Bedřich Diviš Weber, his teacher at the Prague Conservatory, attempted to curb, urging him to concentrate on Bach, Mozart and Muzio Clementi. After his father’s early death Moscheles settled in 1808 in Vienna. Nevertheless his abilities were such that he was able to study in Vienna under Albrechtsberger for counterpoint and theory and Salieri for composition. At this time he changed his first name from 'Isaac' to 'Ignaz'.
He was one of the leading virtuosi resident in Vienna during the 1814-1815 Congress of Vienna and it was at this time that he wrote his enormously popular virtuosic 'Alexander Variations', Op. 32, for piano and orchestra, which he later played throughout Europe. Here too he became a close friend of Meyerbeer (at that time still a piano virtuoso, not yet a composer) and their extemporized piano-duets were highly acclaimed. Moscheles was also familiar with Hummel and Kalkbrenner.
Among the virtuosi of the 1820s—Hummel, Kalkbrenner, Cramer, Herz and Weber were his most famous rivals. While in Vienna Moscheles was able to meet his idol Beethoven, who was so impressed with the young man's abilities that he entrusted him with the preparation of the piano score of his opera Fidelio, commissioned by his publisher Artaria. At the end of his manuscript, before presenting it to Beethoven, Moscheles wrote the words Fine mit gottes Hülfe (Finished with God's help). Beethoven approved Moscheles's version, but appended the words O Mensch, hilf dir selber (O Man, help thyself!). Moscheles's good relations with Beethoven were to prove important to both at the end of Beethoven's life. Moscheles died in Leipzig on 10 March 1870, nine days after attending his last rehearsal with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
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