Liszt Biography

Franz Liszt, one of the genius piano performers of nineteenth century, was a Hungarian composer on modern piano and was also known for his harmonies and innovative style of symphonic poems. He was born in 1811 and died in 1886 at the age of 75 years.

Franz Liszt was not only famous as a composer and pianist but also as the best conductor and teacher of instrumental music at that point of time. He had been considered as most unique composer and musician of nineteenth century. He was a wonderful child since his childhood as he publicly played for this first time at the age of nine years under guidance of his father. As adult he was the first composer who survived on his performances and compositions. He was capable to draw houseful audiences with his solo performances without any support of orchestra. But memories of Liszt could not be stored on records that time as he unfortunately died some years before the invention of recording facilities.

Liszt used thematic transformation system in his compositions to experiment certain formal changes in them by using the movements in a different manner to give them a new style. Both of the piano concerts, B-Minor Piano Sonata along with all of the symphonic poems of Liszt were among the examples of multi-sectional compositions in his compositions as each of them were played without any pause between the sections.

Initial period of Liszt career

After shifting to Paris in 1823 Franz Liszt performed in 1824 for the first time. He started studying compositions with an Italian opera composer, Ferdinando Paer, and Czech composer, Anton Reicha, after Luigi Cherubini refused due to his contradictory entity of a foreigner. He stayed in Paris for almost twenty years where he took part in various cultural events and was friendly with various famous personalities of that time in the field of performing arts. In 1831, the composition of Niccolò Paganini had inspired him to transform his compositions by using the virtues of violin style to his piano keyboard.

In 1935 Liszt married to Comtesse d’Agoult and got three children from her. During 1835 to 1843 Liszt remained busy in composing and performing in Vienna, Leipzig, Prague, and Dresden. He performed on the compositions of others along with some of his own composition during this period. In 1843, Liszt was appointed as Grand Ducal Director of Music Extraordinary at Weimar after being separated from his wife.

Central period of Liszt career

Gypsy music became the passion of Liszt after returning to Hungary in 1846 where he composed a number of melodious compositions in this style. He married to Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein, who left her spouse to marry him, on his musical tour to Russia. Liszt settled down in Weimar in 1948 and started his career as teacher, conductor and composer. The Todtentanz for orchestra and piano, two piano concertos, and the symphonic poems Les Préludes, Tasso, Hunnenschlacht and Mazeppa were some of his famous compositions at Weimar. In 1861 he separated from Princess after being unsuccessful of marrying her as she failed to get divorce from her previous husband. After joining the Oratory of the Madonna del Rosario, as a member of church, he composed several sacred compositions of this decade.

Concluding period of Liszt career

In 1871, after being appointed as Royal Hungarian Counselor, Liszt started touring Rome, Weimar, and Budapest for the rest of his life. He celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his career as a national event at Budapest in 1871. As he contributed on the centennial celebrations of Mozart in 1856, he took part in the fiftieth death anniversary celebrations of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1877. He celebrated his seventieth birthday with his own compositions in 1881 in Rome. He presented his last concert only twelve days before his death on 19th July, 1886 at Bayreuth. No one can even imagine the excellence of his compositions even after more than a century of his birth. He was a real master in his field.

Franz Liszt was among the exceptional composers, pianists, teachers and conductors who were able to expand their traditional techniques, developed pianistic figurations in new varieties and combined them in a highly advanced style. He will be remembered, for his style used in the piano compositions delivered by him throughout his life, till the existence of this universe.