The son of a clarinettist and a pianist, Charles Mayer (1799-1862) was taken as a baby from Königsberg (Kaliningrad) to St Petersburg. Four years later his family moved to Moscow, but fled back in 1812 when the city burned. Mayer studied with his mother and with John Field, whose style he is said to have closely imitated. From 1819 he was established as a busy and popular teacher in St Petersburg - he is said to have had 800 pupils, among them Glinka, the father of Russian music. He also toured extensively throughout Europe: Berlioz described him as ´an artist of great talent´, and Schumann praised both his playing and some of his pieces. Later Mayer left St. Petersburg and settled in Dresden, where he died.