Pleyel-Moke, Marie Félicité

BORN 4 Jul 1811, Paris - DIED 30 Mar 1875, Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode, Brussel
REAL NAME Moke, Marie Félicité Denise
GRAVE LOCATION Brussel: Begraafplaats Laken (Perk 6A, weg 12/17, concessie 851)

Marie Pleyel was born as Marie Félicité Denise Moke. Her father was a Belgian professor and her mother owned a boutique in Paris. Her mother taught her to play the piano and after her talent was recognized she was taught by Friedrich Kalkbrenner, Henri Herz and Ignaz Moscheles. She made her official debut in Paris when she was eight years old and by the time she was fifteen she was a leading pianist.

She became engaged to Hector Berlioz before he went to the Villa Médicis in Rome but when he was there he received a letter from her mother that she was to marry Camille Pleyel, the son of piano manufacturer Ignace Joseph Pleyel. They married in 1831 and had a daughter, but her husband was 23 years her senior and a divorce followed in 1836, probably because of her affairs with other men.

In 1839 she performed with Liszt in Vienna and he praised her talent. In Leipzig she played with Félix Mendelssohn and she was also succesful in Russia, England and France. In Russia she met the pianist Sigismund Thalberg and he was an important influence to her that she retired for considerable time to study. In Cologne she performed again with Liszt.

In 1848 she became a professor at the Conservatory in Brussels but she continued her performances as well. Between 1846 and 1855 she visited London four times. During a concert in 1855 in Paris she performed with her daughter, who sang. In 1856 her daughter unexpectedly died. During the 1860s she performed less often and in 1872 she gave up her professorship because her health started to fail. She died in 1875 in Brussels.

Related persons
• was engaged to Berlioz, Hector
• cooperated with Liszt, Franz
• was the lover of Liszt, Franz
• cooperated with Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix


The grave of Marie Pleyel at the Cimetière de Laecken, Brussels.
Picture by Androom (28 Apr 2007)


The grave of Marie Pleyel at the Cimetière de Laecken, Brussels.
Picture by Androom (28 Apr 2007)


Cimetière de Laeken — Wikipédia
Marie Moke-Pleyel
Startseite - Sophie Drinker Institut

Ploetz, Alfred

Published: 14 Jul 2012
Last update: 27 Jan 2018