This paper aims at an examination of the life and work of the Bohemian composer Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) within its socio-cultural context, which is the second half of the 18th century. The focus will be on the decade from 1788/89 to 1799, which Dussek spent in London after he had migrated from Paris to the English metropolis. This period, without doubt, marks the height of his career as a pianist, composer, pedagogue, and even businessman in the fields of instrument making and music publishing.After an introduction on his life before his emigration to London, the paper presents a detailed account of the European musical life of the 18th century, whereby particular attention is paid to the emergence of the public concert. Thereafter, the focus shifts to the exceptional case of London, in order to demonstrate how „public musical life of the modern sort emerged first and foremost in eighteenth-century London”1, and how this environment affected a talented musician like Jan Ladislav Dussek and his contemporaries including Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) and Johann Baptist Cramer (1771-1858).The second part of the paper is dedicated to his personal life and being as a musician within the aforementioned decade. Instead of a mere presentation of facts, the account aims at emphasizing the relationship between Dusseks artistic activities and his cultural and personal environment, which by no means remained constant over the time of his stay in London. Within this process, there will be perhaps for the first time ever a detailed examination of the composition and reception of his only opera, The Captive of Spilberg. The paper ends with a survey of the years from his escape from London to his death in 1812.