Introduction To The Composer | Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt was born on October 22nd, 1811 in Raiding, Hungary.
After showing prodigious musical talent at an early age, Liszt’s father, an official at the Hungarian court of the princes Esterhazy, began giving him music lessons on the piano.
Liszt made his debut, giving his first recital at the age of nine.
Soon after, funded by Prince Nikolaus, he travelled to Vienna to continue his music education. There he met Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.
In 1834 he began a liaison with the Countess Marie d’Agoult. This affair bore 3 children, one of which, their second daughter Cosima later married composer Richard Wagner.
Liszt’s striking looks, his larger than life personality, his affairs with married noblewomen, and his virtuosic music ability, which some say was rivaled only by the talents of Niccolo Paganini, truly make him a rockstar of his day.
The apex of Liszt’s career were the years spent in Weimar between 1848 and 1859. It was during this time that he composed most of his major works including the E-flat Piano Concert, the B minor Sonata, Hungarian Rhapsodies, the Faust symphony, the Dante symphony, over a dozen symphonic poems, and many other pieces.
After traveling to Bayreuth, Germany to attend a music festival, Franz Liszt died of pneumonia on July 31st, 1886, at the age of 74.