Muzio Clementi (24 January 1752, Rome – 10 March 1832, Evesham, Worcestershire, England) was a celebrated English classical composer, pianist, pedagogue, conductor, music publisher, editor, and piano manufacturer. He is best known for his piano sonatas, sonatinas, and his collection of piano studies, Gradus ad Parnassum. Nineteenth century enthusiasts lauded Clementi as "the father of the pianoforte", "father of modern piano technique", and "father of Romantic pianistic virtuosity".
Encouraged to study music by his father, he was sponsored as a young composer by Sir Peter Beckford, a wealthy Englishman who brought him to England to advance his studies. He soon became known as one of the great piano virtuosi, touring Europe numerous times from his long time base in London. It was on one of these occasions in 1781 that he engaged in a famous piano improvisation duel with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Influenced by Domenico Scarlatti's harpsichord school and Haydn's classical school and by the stile galante of Johann Christian Bach and Ignazio Cirri, Clementi developed a fluent, technical legato style which he passed on to an entire generation of pianists, including John Field, Johann Baptist Cramer, Ignaz Moscheles, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Friedrich Kalkbrenner, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Carl Czerny. He was a notable influence on Ludwig van Beethoven.
Clementi also produced and promoted his own brand of pianos and was a notable music publisher. It was thanks to this activity that many compositions by contemporary and earlier artists have stayed in the repertoire. Though the European reputation of Muzio Clementi was second only to Joseph Haydn in his day, his reputation languished for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.