François Joseph Dizi was born in Namur, South Netherlands, in 1780, the son of a music teacher from whom he received his earliest musical training. He taught himself the harp and came to England at the age of sixteen to improve his technique. (He lost all his money and possessions on the way. Whilst his ship was in harbour he dived overboard to rescue a sailor who had fallen into the water; the ship went on without him, taking all his belongings.) Unable to speak English, and penniless, he somehow found his way to the London home of the famed maker of pianos and harps, Sebastian Erard. This led to an introduction to Clementi who, recognising his talent, helped him to establish himself. Before long he was regarded as the most renowned harpist in England, a reputation which he maintained for thirty years. Among his many pupils was Parish-Alvars.
Dizi left London in 1830 to join the firm of Pleyel in Paris with the intention of founding an establishment for the manufacture of harps. But this came to nothing. He died in Paris some time around 1840.
Of his various compositions for the harp, the 48 studies are considered the most important, being melodious and technically valuable.
from notes by Susan Drake © 1983