Liszt, Franz

Franz Liszt
October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer. While he was known as a prominent teacher and conductor, it was his unsurpassed skill as a pianist that endowed him legendary fame.

Liszt’s became interested in piano while listening to his father play, a skilled violinist, cellist, guitarist, and pianist in his own right. Young Liszt began learning piano at seven, and attempted composing a year later. At nine he was performing, and showed great skill. It was from this exposure that he received an endorsement to study abroad.

He received instruction from various composers in Vienna, including Salieri. Liszt was quickly recognized for his talents. He relocated to Paris, and rose to prominence there. He began touring, conducting, while also supporting himself with teaching. He also reserved dedicated time for composing, which focused mostly on piano compositions. It was only later in his career that Liszt incorporated orchestration.

Liszt final years were marked by a turn to church music, which were introspective, somewhat gloomy, but still retained the originality and flair he demonstrated his entire life.

Notable works:
Symphonic Poem #3, Les Préludes
Hungarian Rhapsodies
Piano Concertos #'s 1 and 2