Franz Liszt
Composer, conductor, pedagogue, pianist
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt; in Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz, in modern use Liszt Ferenc; from 1859 to 1867 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor and teacher. Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age, and in the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time.
Franz Liszt's personal information overview.
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Adam Neiman's inspired take on Franz Liszt - Peoria Journal Star (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 — played with startling inspiration by guest pianist Adam Neiman, accompanied by conductor David Commanday and Heartland Festival Orchestra Saturday at Five Points — the music's inner expressive intent melts down
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Liszt works strikingly evinced - Otago Daily Times
Google News - over 5 years
La Belle Alliance (Tessa Petersen, violin and John Van Buskirk, piano) performed four works by Franz Liszt (1811-86) and one in total contrast, by Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) in this week's lunchtime concert at Marama Hall. Van Buskirk was definitely
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CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; The Musical Giant Of the 19th Century
NYTimes - over 5 years
In January, during my Top 10 Composers project, a two-week series of deliberative articles, blog posts and videos to come up with a list of the greatest composers in history, Liszt was never really a contender. Among comments from readers, there were surprisingly few calls to include him in this select group. But if this exercise, an intellectual
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Hungary: In Budapest, even the trains are playing Liszt (+video) - New Zealand Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Hungary is celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of composer Franz Liszt (inset). Photos / Thinkstock In Budapest this summer, you just can't move for Franz Liszt. Coming out of the Parisian-style Muvesz Coffee House on Andrassy, I see the old boy
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Adam Neiman to perform with Heartland Festival Orchestra - Peoria Journal Star
Google News - over 5 years
Little wonder the music and persona of Franz Liszt continues to cast a spell even two centuries after his birth — not least of all on pianist Adam Neiman, 32, who will perform Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 Saturday with Heartland Festival Orchestra at
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Saint or sinner, Liszt is still Budapest's favourite composer - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
Adrian Mourby finds out why this city has so taken him to its heart In Budapest this summer, you just can't move for Franz Liszt. Coming out of the Parisian-style Muvesz Coffee House on Andrassy, I see the old boy seated in a niche to the right of the
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life and times of a musical genius - The Australian
Google News - over 5 years
In his biography of Franz Liszt, John Spurling argues the composer never receives the acclaim he deserves. Source: Supplied By John Spurling IF China's Lang Lang at 29 is the world's most celebrated pianist, Franz Liszt, born in 1811,
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Khatia Buniatishvili, “Franz Liszt” (Sony Classical) - Easy Reader News
Google News - over 5 years
On this, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, we have an album calculated to make a splash. And why not? Liszt was an innovator, a Romantic right up there with Chopin, Berlioz, Schubert and Wagner, but also perhaps the
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Valley concert pianist to take the pavilion stage - Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Google News - over 5 years
Dunning's classical music piano performance is in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt. The performance will also include works by Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff. "I have practiced up to eight hours a day for this
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Bach + Liszt + Higgs + the Rosales Organ = Wow! - Oregon Music News (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
It wasn't just the Higgs's impeccable playing of a program stuffed with gems by Bach and Higgs's out-of-this-world performance of a Franz Liszt piece that was inspired by Bach, it was also the tremendous volume and variety of sounds that Higgs created
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Watts Joins CSO to Light Up Ravinia -
Google News - over 5 years
Watts delighted the audience with his solo performance of Franz Liszt's A Sigh as well as joining the symphony to play Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2. He exuded technique and passion in abundance and the response was a thunderous ovation
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Liszt's cherished Bosendorfer piano makes Korean debut - Korea Times
Google News - over 5 years
By Do Je-hae Hungarian-born pianist and composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886) had a lifelong relationship with the Bosendorfer, one of the world's oldest handmade piano manufacturers. The Austrian piano maker was introduced to the Korean market for the
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Deutsche Grammophon & Decca Celebrate Liszt Throughout 2011 - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
October 22, 2011 will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer, pianist, conductor and teacher Franz Liszt. The celebrations have already started with a number of concerts and new recordings and they will continue throughout the year
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Franz Liszt
  • 1886
    Age 74
    Liszt died in Bayreuth, Germany, on July 31, 1886, at the age of 74, officially as a result of pneumonia, which he may have contracted during the Bayreuth Festival hosted by his daughter Cosima.
    More Details Hide Details Questions have been posed as to whether medical malpractice played a part in his death.
    Since Liszt had settled in Weimar, the number of those who received lessons from him was steadily increasing. Until his death in 1886 there would have been several hundred people who in some sense may have been regarded as his students.
    More Details Hide Details August Göllerich published a voluminous catalogue of them. In a note he added the remark that he had taken the connotation "student" in its widest sense. As a consequence, his catalogue includes names of pianists, violinists, cellists, harpists, organists, composers, conductors, singers and even writers. Another catalogue was prepared by Carl Lachmund. In Lachmund's catalogue his own wife's name, missing in Göllerich's catalogue, is included. She had successfully persuaded Liszt to listen to her playing the harp. After she had played a single piece, without Liszt's saying a word about it, she was nominated as Liszt's student by her husband. The following catalogue by Ludwig Nohl, headed with "Die Hauptschüler Liszts" ("Liszt's main students"), was approved in September 1881 and, with regard to the order of the names, corrected, by Liszt. In 1886 a similar catalogue would have been much longer, including names such as Eugen d'Albert, Walter Bache, Carl Lachmund, Moriz Rosenthal, Emil Sauer, Alexander Siloti, Conrad Ansorge, William Dayas, August Göllerich, Bernhard Stavenhagen, August Stradal, José Vianna da Motta and István Thomán.
    He was buried on August 3, 1886, in the municipal cemetery of Bayreuth in accordance with his wishes.
    More Details Hide Details Liszt was viewed by his contemporaries as the greatest virtuoso of his time (although Liszt stated that Charles-Valentin Alkan "had the finest technique of any pianist" known to him). In the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. There are few, if any, good sources that give an impression of how Liszt really sounded from the 1820s. Carl Czerny claimed Liszt was a natural who played according to feeling, and reviews of his concerts especially praise the brilliance, strength and precision in his playing. At least one also mentions his ability to keep absolute tempo, which may be due to his father's insistence that he practice with a metronome. His repertoire at this time consisted primarily of pieces in the style of the brilliant Viennese school, such as concertos by Hummel and works by his former teacher Czerny, and his concerts often included a chance for the boy to display his prowess in improvisation.
    On January 13, 1886, while Claude Debussy was staying at the Villa Medici in Rome, Liszt met him there with Paul Vidal and Victor Herbert.
    More Details Hide Details Liszt played Au bord d’une source from his Années de pèlerinage, as well as his arrangement of Schubert's Ave Maria for the musicians. Debussy in later years described Liszt's pedalling as "like a form of breathing." Debussy and Vidal performed their piano duet arrangement of Liszt's Faust Symphony; allegedly, Liszt fell asleep during this. The composer Camille Saint-Saëns, an old friend, whom Liszt had once called "the greatest organist in the world", dedicated his Symphony No. 3 "Organ Symphony" to Liszt; it had premiered in London only a few weeks before the death of its dedicatee.
    His last stay was from January 30 to March 12, 1886.
    More Details Hide Details After Liszt's death János Végh, since 1881 vice-president, became president. No earlier than 40 years later the Academy was renamed to "Franz Liszt Akademie". Until then, due to World War I, Liszt's Europe and also his Hungary had died. Mainly, the only connection between Franz Liszt and the "Franz Liszt Akademie" was the name. On June 24, 1872, the composer and conductor Karl Müller-Hartung founded an "Orchesterschule" ("Orchestra School") at Weimar. Although Liszt and Müller-Hartung were on friendly terms, Liszt took no active part in that foundation. The "Orchesterschule" later developed to a conservatory which still exists and is now called "Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt", Weimar".
  • 1884
    Age 72
    During a couple of months in summers 1884 and 1885 he studied with Liszt at Weimar.
    More Details Hide Details When he arrived for the first time, he already was a virtuoso of strongest calibre who shortly before had made a concert tour through Spain. The question of whether there was any change in his playing after he had studied with Liszt remains open. According to his autobiography Meine Welt, he had found it imposing when Arthur Friedheim was thundering Liszt's Lucrezia-Fantasy. Regarding Liszt's playing a Beethoven Sonata, however, he wrote, Liszt had at least given a good performance as actor. As his opinion, Sauer had told his fellow students that Anton Rubinstein was a greater composer than Liszt. In Sauer's own compositions, a piano concerto, two sonatas, about two and a half dozen Etudes and several concert pieces, no influence of Liszt as composer of the 1880s can be recognized. Liszt offered his students little technical advice, expecting them to "wash their dirty linen at home," as he phrased it. Instead, he focused on musical interpretation with a combination of anecdote, metaphor and wit. He advised one student tapping out the opening chords of Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata, "Do not chop beefsteak for us." To another who blurred the rhythm in Liszt's Gnomenreigen (usually done by playing the piece too fast in the composer's presence): "There you go, mixing salad again." Liszt also wanted to avoid creating carbon copies of himself; rather, he believed in preserving artistic individuality.
  • 1881
    Age 69
    Liszt fell down the stairs of a hotel in Weimar on July 2, 1881.
    More Details Hide Details Though friends and colleagues had noticed swelling in his feet and legs when he had arrived in Weimar the previous month (an indication of possible congestive heart failure), he had been in good health up to that point and was still fit and active. He was left immobilised for eight weeks after the accident and never fully recovered from it. A number of ailments manifested themselves—dropsy, asthma, insomnia, a cataract of the left eye and heart disease. The last-mentioned eventually contributed to Liszt's death. He became increasingly plagued by feelings of desolation, despair and preoccupation with death—feelings that he expressed in his works from this period. As he told Lina Ramann, "I carry a deep sadness of the heart which must now and then break out in sound."
  • 1875
    Age 63
    The Academy was officially opened on November 14, 1875 under Liszt's colleagues Ferenc Erkel, the director, Kornél Ábrányi and Robert Volkmann and Liszt himself came in March 1876 to give some lessons and a charity concert.
    More Details Hide Details In spite of the conditions under which Liszt had been appointed as "Königlicher Rat", he neither directed the orchestra of the National Theatre, nor did he permanently settle in Hungary. Typically, he arrived in mid-winter in Budapest. After one or two concerts of his students by the beginning of spring he left. He never took part in the final examinations, which were in summer of every year. Most of his students were still matriculated as students of either Erkel or later Henri Gobbi. Some of them joined the lessons which he gave in summer in Weimar. In winter, when he was in Budapest, some students of his Weimar circle joined him there. In 1873, at the occasion of Liszt's 50th anniversary as performing artist, the city Budapest had installed a "Franz Liszt Stiftung" ("Franz Liszt Foundation"). The foundation was destined to provide stipends of 200 Gulden for three students of the Academy who had shown excellent abilities and especially had achieved progress with regard to Hungarian music. Every year it was Liszt alone who could decide which one of the students should receive the money. He gave the total sum of 600 Gulden either to a single student or to a group of three or more of them, not asking whether they were actually matriculated at the Academy.
    In March 1875 Liszt was nominated as President.
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  • 1871
    Age 59
    They had a short affair, until in spring 1871—on Liszt's initiative—they separated.
    More Details Hide Details Besides Liszt's master students there was a crowd of those who could at best reach only moderate abilities. In such cases, Liszt's lessons changed nothing. Several of Liszt's master students, however, were disappointed with him. An example is Eugen d'Albert, who in the end was on nearly hostile terms with Liszt. The same must be said of Felix Draeseke who had joined the circle around Liszt at Weimar in 1857, and who during the first half of the 1860s had been one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School. In Nohl's catalogue he is not even mentioned. Also Hans von Bülow, since the 1860s, had more and more drifted towards a direction which was not only different from Liszt's, but opposite to it. According to August Stradal, some of Liszt's master students had claimed that Anton Rubinstein was a better teacher than Liszt. It might have been meant as allusion to Emil Sauer, who had in Moscow studied with Nikolai Rubinstein.
  • 1869
    Age 57
    Liszt was invited back to Weimar in 1869 to give master classes in piano playing.
    More Details Hide Details Two years later he was asked to do the same in Budapest at the Hungarian Music Academy. From then until the end of his life he made regular journeys between Rome, Weimar and Budapest, continuing what he called his "vie trifurquée" or threefold existence. It is estimated that Liszt travelled at least 4,000 miles a year during this period in his life—an exceptional figure given his advancing age and the rigors of road and rail in the 1870s. Since the early 1860s there were attempts of some of Liszt's Hungarian contemporaries to have him settled with a position in Hungary. In 1871 the Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Andrássy made a new attempt. In a writing of June 4, 1871, to the Hungarian King (the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I), requesting an annual grant of 4,000 Gulden and the rank of a "Königlicher Rat" ("Crown Councillor") for Liszt, who in return would permanently settle in Budapest, directing the orchestra of the National Theatre as well as music schools and further musical institutions. By that time there were also plans of the foundation of a Royal Academy for Music at Budapest, of which the Hungarian state should be in charge.
  • 1867
    Age 55
    Other pieces such as the "Marche funèbre, En mémoire de Maximilian I, Empereur du Mexique" ("Funeral march, In memory of Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico") composed in 1867 are, however, without stylistic parallel in the 19th and 20th centuries.
    More Details Hide Details At a later stage, Liszt experimented with "forbidden" things such as parallel 5ths in the "Csárdás macabre" and atonality in the Bagatelle sans tonalité ("Bagatelle without Tonality"). Pieces like the "2nd Mephisto-Waltz" are unconventional because of their numerous repetitions of short motives. Also characteristic are the "Via crucis" of 1878, as well as Unstern!, Nuages gris, and the two works entitled La lugubre gondola of the 1880s. Besides his musical works, Liszt wrote essays about many subjects. Most important for an understanding of his development is the article series "De la situation des artistes" ("On the situation of artists") which was published in the Parisian Gazette musicale in 1835. In winter 1835–36, during Liszt's stay in Geneva, about half a dozen further essays followed. One of them that was slated to be published under the pseudonym "Emm Prym" was about Liszt's own works. It was sent to Maurice Schlesinger, editor of the Gazette musicale. Schlesinger, however, following the advice of Berlioz, did not publish it. In the beginning of 1837, Liszt published a review of some piano works of Sigismond Thalberg. The review provoked a huge scandal. Liszt also published a series of writings titled "Baccalaureus letters", ending in 1841.
  • 1866
    Age 54
    In 1866, Liszt composed the Hungarian coronation ceremony for Franz Joseph and Elisabeth of Bavaria. (Latin: Missa coronationalis) The Mass was first performed on June 8, 1867, at the coronation ceremony in the Matthias Church by Buda Castle in a six-section form.
    More Details Hide Details After the first performance the Offertory was added, and two years later the Gradual.
    On January 4, 1866, Liszt directed the "Stabat mater" of his "Christus-Oratorio", and on February 26, 1866, his "Dante Symphony".
    More Details Hide Details There were several further occasions of similar kind, but in comparison with the duration of Liszt's stay in Rome, they were exceptions.
  • 1865
    Age 53
    On July 31, 1865, he received the four minor orders of porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte.
    More Details Hide Details After this ordination he was often called Abbé Liszt. On August 14, 1879, he was made an honorary canon of Albano. On some occasions, Liszt took part in Rome's musical life. On March 26, 1863, at a concert at the Palazzo Altieri, he directed a programme of sacred music. The "Seligkeiten" of his "Christus-Oratorio" and his "Cantico del Sol di Francesco d'Assisi", as well as Haydn's "Die Schöpfung" and works by J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Jommelli, Mendelssohn and Palestrina were performed.
    On April 25, 1865, he received the tonsure at the hands of Cardinal Hohenlohe.
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  • 1863
    Age 51
    He found it at the monastery Madonna del Rosario, just outside Rome, where on June 20, 1863, he took up quarters in a small, Spartan apartment.
    More Details Hide Details He had on June 23, 1857, already joined the Third Order of St. Francis.
  • 1861
    Age 49
    It was planned that the couple would marry in Rome, on October 22, 1861, Liszt's 50th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details Although Liszt arrived in Rome on October 21, the Princess declined to marry him that evening. It appears that both her husband and the Tsar of Russia had managed to quash permission for the marriage at the Vatican. The Russian government also impounded her several estates in the Polish Ukraine, which made her later marriage to anybody unfeasible. The 1860s were a period of great sadness in Liszt's private life. On December 13, 1859, he lost his 20-year-old son Daniel, and on September 11, 1862, his 26-year-old daughter Blandine also died. In letters to friends, Liszt afterwards announced that he would retreat to a solitary living.
  • 1857
    Age 45
    He gave lessons to a number of pianists, including the great virtuoso Hans von Bülow, who married Liszt's daughter Cosima in 1857 (years later, she would marry Richard Wagner).
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  • 1856
    Age 44
    Wagner held strong value towards Liszt and his musicality, once rhetorically stating "Do you know a musician who is more musical than Liszt?", and in 1856 stating "I feel thoroughly contemptible as a musician, whereas you, as I have now convinced myself, are the greatest musician of all times."
    More Details Hide Details Princess Carolyne lived with Liszt during his years in Weimar. She eventually wished to marry Liszt, but since she had been previously married and her husband, Russian military officer Prince Nikolaus zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg (1812–1864), was still alive, she had to convince the Roman Catholic authorities that her marriage to him had been invalid. After huge efforts and a monstrously intricate process, she was temporarily successful (September 1860).
  • 1842
    Age 30
    The following year, Liszt took up a long-standing invitation of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia to settle at Weimar, where he had been appointed Kapellmeister Extraordinaire in 1842, remaining there until 1861.
    More Details Hide Details During this period he acted as conductor at court concerts and on special occasions at the theatre.
    When he found out about the Great Fire of Hamburg, which raged for three days during May 1842 and destroyed much of the city, he gave concerts in aid of the thousands of homeless there.
    More Details Hide Details In February 1847, Liszt played in Kiev. There he met the Polish Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who was to become one of the most significant people in the rest of his life. She persuaded him to concentrate on composition, which meant giving up his career as a travelling virtuoso. After a tour of the Balkans, Turkey and Russia that summer, Liszt gave his final concert for pay at Yelisavetgrad in September. He spent the winter with the princess at her estate in Woronince. By retiring from the concert platform at 35, while still at the height of his powers, Liszt succeeded in keeping the legend of his playing untarnished.
    After 1842, "Lisztomania" - coined by 19th Century German poet and Liszt’s contemporary, Heinrich Heine - swept across Europe.
    More Details Hide Details The reception that Liszt enjoyed as a result can be described only as hysterical. Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. This atmosphere was fuelled in great part by the artist's mesmeric personality and stage presence. Many witnesses later testified that Liszt's playing raised the mood of audiences to a level of mystical ecstasy. Adding to his reputation was the fact that Liszt gave away much of his proceeds to charity and humanitarian causes. In fact, Liszt had made so much money by his mid-forties that virtually all his performing fees after 1857 went to charity. While his work for the Beethoven monument and the Hungarian National School of Music are well known, he also gave generously to the building fund of Cologne Cathedral, the establishment of a Gymnasium at Dortmund, and the construction of the Leopold Church in Pest. There were also private donations to hospitals, schools and charitable organizations such as the Leipzig Musicians Pension Fund.
  • 1841
    Age 29
    In 1841, Franz Liszt was admitted to the Freemason's lodge "Unity" "Zur Einigkeit", in Frankfurt am Main.
    More Details Hide Details He was promoted to the second degree and elected master as member of the lodge "Zur Einigkeit", in Berlin. From 1845 he was also honorary member of the lodge "Modestia cum Libertate" at Zurich and 1870 of the lodge in Pest (Budapest-Hungary).
    In 1841, Liszt received an honorary doctorate from the University of Königsberg - an honour unprecedented at the time, and an especially important one from the perspective of the German tradition.
    More Details Hide Details Liszt never used 'Dr. Liszt' or 'Dr. Franz Liszt' publicly. Ferdinand Hiller, a rival of Liszt at the time, was allegedly highly jealous at the decision made by the university.
    For the next eight years Liszt continued to tour Europe, spending holidays with the countess and their children on the island of Nonnenwerth on the Rhine in summers 1841 and 1843.
    More Details Hide Details In spring 1844 the couple finally separated. This was Liszt's most brilliant period as a concert pianist. Honours were showered on him and he met with adulation wherever he went. Since he often appeared three or four times a week in concert, it could be safe to assume that he appeared in public well over a thousand times during this eight-year period. Moreover, his great fame as a pianist, which he would continue to enjoy long after he had officially retired from the concert stage, was based mainly on his accomplishments during this time.
  • 1839
    Age 27
    For the next four years, Liszt and the countess lived together, mainly in Switzerland and Italy, where their daughter, Cosima, was born in Como, with occasional visits to Paris. On May 9, 1839, Liszt's and the countess's only son, Daniel, was born, but that autumn relations between them became strained.
    More Details Hide Details Liszt heard that plans for a Beethoven monument in Bonn were in danger of collapse for lack of funds, and pledged his support. Doing so meant returning to the life of a touring virtuoso. The countess returned to Paris with the children, while Liszt gave six concerts in Vienna, then toured Hungary.
  • 1835
    Age 23
    In 1835 the countess left her husband and family to join Liszt in Geneva; their daughter Blandine was born there on December 18.
    More Details Hide Details Liszt taught at the newly founded Geneva Conservatory, wrote a manual of piano technique (later lost) and contributed essays for the Paris Revue et gazette musicale. In these essays, he argued for the raising of the artist from the status of a servant to a respected member of the community.
  • 1834
    Age 22
    In addition to this, at the end of April 1834 he made the acquaintance of Felicité de Lamennais.
    More Details Hide Details Under the influence of both, Liszt's creative output exploded.
  • 1833
    Age 21
    In 1833, Liszt began his relationship with the Countess Marie d'Agoult.
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    In 1833 he made transcriptions of several works by Berlioz, including the Symphonie fantastique.
    More Details Hide Details His chief motive in doing so, especially with the Symphonie, was to help the poverty-stricken Berlioz, whose symphony remained unknown and unpublished. Liszt bore the expense of publishing the transcription himself and played it many times to help popularise the original score. He was also forming a friendship with a third composer who influenced him, Frédéric Chopin; under his influence Liszt's poetic and romantic side began to develop.
  • 1832
    Age 20
    After attending an April 20, 1832, charity concert, for the victims of a Parisian cholera epidemic, organised by Niccolò Paganini, Liszt became determined to become as great a virtuoso on the piano as Paganini was on the violin.
    More Details Hide Details Paris in the 1830s had become the nexus for pianistic activities, with dozens of pianists dedicated to perfection at the keyboard. Some, such as Sigismond Thalberg and Alexander Dreyschock, focused on specific aspects of technique (e.g. the "three-hand effect" and octaves, respectively). While it has since been referred to the "flying trapeze" school of piano playing, this generation also solved some of the most intractable problems of piano technique, raising the general level of performance to previously unimagined heights. Liszt's strength and ability to stand out in this company was in mastering all the aspects of piano technique cultivated singly and assiduously by his rivals.
  • 1830
    Age 18
    He met Hector Berlioz on December 4, 1830, the day before the premiere of the Symphonie fantastique.
    More Details Hide Details Berlioz's music made a strong impression on Liszt, especially later when he was writing for orchestra. He also inherited from Berlioz the diabolic quality of many of his works.
    Nevertheless, the July Revolution of 1830 inspired him to sketch a Revolutionary Symphony based on the events of the "three glorious days," and he took a greater interest in events surrounding him.
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  • 1827
    Age 15
    After his father's death in 1827, Liszt moved to Paris; for the next five years he was to live with his mother in a small apartment.
    More Details Hide Details He gave up touring. To earn money, Liszt gave lessons in piano playing and composition, often from early morning until late at night. His students were scattered across the city and he often had to cover long distances. Because of this, he kept uncertain hours and also took up smoking and drinking—all habits he would continue throughout his life. The following year he fell in love with one of his pupils, Caroline de Saint-Cricq, the daughter of Charles X's minister of commerce, Pierre de Saint-Cricq. Her father, however, insisted that the affair be broken off. Liszt fell very ill, to the extent that an obituary notice was printed in a Paris newspaper, and he underwent a long period of religious doubts and pessimism. He again stated a wish to join the Church but was dissuaded this time by his mother. He had many discussions with the Abbé de Lamennais, who acted as his spiritual father, and also with Chrétien Urhan, a German-born violinist who introduced him to the Saint-Simonists. Urhan also wrote music that was anti-classical and highly subjective, with titles such as Elle et moi, La Salvation angélique and Les Regrets, and may have whetted the young Liszt's taste for musical romanticism. Equally important for Liszt was Urhan's earnest championship of Schubert, which may have stimulated his own lifelong devotion to that composer's music.
  • 1823
    Age 11
    Towards the end of 1823 or early 1824, Liszt's first composition to be published, his Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (now S. 147), appeared as Variation 24 in Part II of Vaterländischer Künstlerverein.
    More Details Hide Details This anthology, commissioned by Anton Diabelli, includes 50 variations on his waltz by 50 different composers (Part II), Part I being taken up by Beethoven's 33 variations on the same theme, which are now separately better known simply as his Diabelli Variations, Op. 120. Liszt's inclusion in the Diabelli project—he was described in it as "an 11 year old boy, born in Hungary"—was almost certainly at the instigation of Czerny, his teacher and also a participant. Liszt was the only child composer in the anthology.
    In spring 1823, when his one-year leave of absence came to an end, Adam Liszt asked Prince Esterházy in vain for two more years.
    More Details Hide Details Adam Liszt therefore took his leave of the Prince's services. At the end of April 1823, the family returned to Hungary for the last time. At the end of May 1823, the family went to Vienna again.
  • 1822
    Age 10
    Liszt's public debut in Vienna on December 1, 1822, at a concert at the "Landständischer Saal", was a great success.
    More Details Hide Details He was greeted in Austrian and Hungarian aristocratic circles and also met Beethoven and Schubert.
  • 1820
    Age 8
    He appeared in concerts at Sopron and Pressburg (Hungarian: Pozsony, present-day Bratislava, Slovakia) in October and November 1820 at age 9.
    More Details Hide Details After the concerts, a group of wealthy sponsors offered to finance Franz's musical education in Vienna. There Liszt received piano lessons from Carl Czerny, who in his own youth had been a student of Beethoven and Hummel. He also received lessons in composition from Antonio Salieri, then music director of the Viennese court.
  • 1811
    Franz Liszt was born to Anna Liszt (née Maria Anna Lager) and Adam Liszt on October 22, 1811, in the village of Doborján (German: Raiding) in Sopron County, in the Kingdom of Hungary.
    More Details Hide Details Liszt's father played the piano, violin, cello and guitar. He had been in the service of Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy and knew Haydn, Hummel and Beethoven personally. At age six, Franz began listening attentively to his father's piano playing and showed an interest in both sacred and Romani music. Adam began teaching him the piano at age seven, and Franz began composing in an elementary manner when he was eight.
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