Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dussek, Sophia

DUSSEK, SOPHIA (1775–1830?) musician, daughter of Domenico Corri [q. v.], was born at Edinburgh in 1775. She played in public when only four years old, and after her father came to London sang and played at the principal concerts. Her masters were her father, Marchesi, Viganoni, and Cimador. She was married to the pianist Dussek before she was twenty. The date of her marriage is uncertain, though it is generally said to be 1792. Under her husband's tuition she became an accomplished pianist and harpist, singing and playing in Ireland and Scotland, and also for one season appearing in opera. Dussek was obliged to fly from his creditors in 1800, and seems at the same time to have deserted his wife, who retired from public life and devoted herself to teaching. After her husband's death in 1812 she married a viola-player, John Alvis Moralt, with whom she lived at 8 Winchester Row, Paddington, where she established an academy for teaching the pianoforte.

Mdme. Dussek wrote a considerable amount of music; many of her sonatas, concertos, and less important pieces for harp, piano, and stringed instruments were published during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The date of her death is unknown, but she was living in 1828. Her daughter, Olivia Buckley (1799–1847), was taught by her mother, and made her first appearance at the Argyle Rooms when eight years old. She was married to a Mr. Buckley, by whom she had ten children. In April 1840 she was appointed organist of the parish church, Kensington, a post she held until 1845, when an election took place, and Mrs. Buckley was reappointed unanimously. She died in 1847. Mrs. Buckley wrote some pianoforte music and songs; she was also the author of a little work entitled ‘Musical Truths,’ published in 1843. Among her compositions two books of ‘Fairy Songs and Ballads for the Young’ (1846) and a set of ‘Æsop's Fables’ (1847) are remarkable for their admirable title-pages, the work of Cruikshank.

[Dict. of Musicians, 1824; Gerber's Lexikon der Tonkünstler, 1812; Musical World, 1861; British Museum Music Catalogue; Kensington Vestry Minute Books, kindly communicated by Mr. H. Bird.]

W. B. S.