Franz Liszt - A Brief Biography

Name: Franz Liszt

Date of Birth: October 22, 1811

Date of Death: July 31, 1886

Place of Birth: Hungary, (Sopron County)

Father: Adam Liszt

Mother: Marie Anna Lager

Main Instrument: Pianoforte

Franz Liszt has shown a great interest in music from a very early age. His love for music developed rapidly and so he followed his father’s foot step as a musician. His father Adam Liszt was a multitalented musician who played instruments such as the piano, violin, cello and guitar.

At age seven Franz started to take piano lessons from his father. Been a quick learner, he started to compose his own music at the age eight.

Franz also travelled to Vienna to further develop his piano skills; he also did lessons in musical compositions.

Franz first performance in Vienna was at a concert in 1822. His performance was described as a great success which gave him the opportunity to meet great Hungarian and Austrian government leaders.

He also had the privilege of meeting great musicians and composers such as Beethoven and Schubert.

By 1824, Liszt started to publish his own compositions. He was an active young musician who started to play at several concerts in Vienna, Hungary and Austria. While Franz was still an adolescent his father died. After his father’s death he moved to Paris to live with his mother.

While living with his mother, he taught piano and composition lessons to students from all over Paris. This was is main financial income at the time.

By the early 1830s Liszt started to dedicate more time to piano playing. His numerous practice sessions were devoted to him becoming a master piano and virtuoso.

He was motivated by the playing skills and styles of Niccolo Paganini a great violinist and virtuoso.

In 1833, Liszt had an intimate relationship with Countess Marie d’ Agoult. However, his intimate relationship with the countess did not affect his musical career.

Between 1833 and 1835 Liszt composed and released one of his original compositions - Harmonies poetiques et religieuses.

His relationship with the countess grew stronger and they a daughter named Blandine. By 1839 they both had a son named Daniel. Liszt was now a great virtuoso and was actively performing in several countries across Europe such as Rome, Weimar, Turkey and Russia.

Between 1859 and 1862, Liszt was haunted by great sadness. His son Daniel and daughter Blandine died respectively.

After overcoming these sad moments Franz Liszt started to compose more music and started touring again.

In 1869 Liszt was invited to Weimar to give master classes in piano playing. He was also asked to teach master classes in piano playing at the Hungarian Music Academy in 1871.

In July 2, 1881 Liszt had a terrible accident at a Hotel in Weimar. He fell down the hotel stairs and was not able to walk for eight weeks. He never recovered fully from the accident which affected him up to the point of death. In July 31, 1886 Liszt died from pneumonia and was buried on August 3, 1886 in Bayreuth, Germany.

Franz Liszt is referred to as one of the greatest pianist of all times.

Liszt’s musical works can be divided in to five subcategories, such as:



-Hungarian Rhapsodies


-Symphonic Poems

He also did several piano concertos and piano sonatas.

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