Born at Pulaya, on the Vistula, in Poland. His father was musicmaster for Prince Czartoryski. He first took up the study of medicine, going to Vienna for that purpose in 1797. His natural inclination, however, was for music and he became one of Haydn's pupils. Master and pupil were much attached to each other and Lessel remained with him until his death, devotedly caring for the great man. In 1810 he returned to Poland, where he succeeded his father in the Czartoryski family. But they were driven into exile after the Revolution of 1830. He held the position of principal of the Gymnasium at Petrikau until 1837, where he died the next year. He composed songs, chamber - music, symphonies, and church-music of rare quality. He dedicated three piano sonatas to Haydn.