Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) - Clementi has been aptly named "the father of the pianoforte". He lived during the piano's infancy and was the first to truly show the musical world what the instrument and a capable master of it could do. Naturally, he therefore had the greatest influence on the succeeding generation of pianists. He counted among his pupils such talents as Meyerbeer, Kalkbrenner, Field, Moscheles, Hummel, and Czerny. While most composers chose the harpsichord for their serious works Clementi was one of the first to write expressly for the piano (C.P.E. Bach was his noteworthy forerunner in this regard). His compositional forms, such as the piano sonata, became the standard for posterity and heavily influenced Beethoven's own sonata creations. His pianistic abilities are difficult to gauge because his was the model that successors followed. However, opinions of contemporary pianists can shed some light on the matter. Beethoven commented that among all the masters who have written and played for the pianoforte, Clementi was in the foremost rank. Carl Czerny also called him the foremost pianist of his time. These words from such masters attest to his crowning acheivement at the piano keyboard.