(b Berlin, 1765; d St Petersburg, 1823).
Ger. pianist and composer. Deserted from Prussian army in 1784 and travelled through Eur. as pianist. From 1790 to 1797 was fashionable teacher and pianist in Paris, where his opera Romeo and Juliet was prod. 1793. From 1797 to 1808 he was often in London, as well as in Vienna, 1799, where he was involved in an improvisation contest with Beethoven and came off much the worse. In Paris, 1800, he cond. Haydn's The Creation with additions and alterations of his own. Wrote ballets for London, 1804–5. Court cond. to Emperor Alexander in St Petersburg 1810, succeeding Boieldieu as cond. of Fr. opera there. Wrote 8 pf. concs., over 160 vn. sonatas, and a pf. method.