Daniel Steibelt is not a household name. But a new recording by Howard Shelley and the Ulster Orchestra may help bring him out of obscurity.

Daniel Steibelt, now almost completely forgotten, was best known in his day for daring to challenge Beethoven to a piano duel – and being humiliated.

Steibelt though was one of the most brilliant keyboardists of northern Europe for some 25 years. His own concertos were sensationally popular. But his longevity was not helped by his personality: contemporary reports say Steibelt was vain, arrogant and ostentatiously extravagant. His most celebrated work – the Piano Concerto No 3 in E major, revived on this excellent recording by Howard Shelley and the Ulster Orchestra, was immensely popular because of its ‘storm’ finale.

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