Liszt (1811-1886) was the greatest piano virtuoso of the 18th century. He
originated the symphonic poem, pioneered the one-movement sonata form, and developed new harmonic combinations.
He was significant contributor to the romantic movement in music.
born in Hungary, (whilst part of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire), but in a German-speaking area of that country, and was
soon recognized as a child prodigy. His family took him to Vienna,
to study piano under Czerny. In 1823 at the age of 12 his family moved to Paris
in order to expose Franz to a greater audience. Here he learned fluent French,
which became his first language for a long time thereafter.
became famous for his piano playing and composition, and infamous for his
adulterous amorous affairs, which were a scandal all over Europe. Between 1832
and 1847 he toured widely over all of Europe, receiving enormous public
adulation. Then in 1848 he settled down in Weimar, Germany,
to concentrate on composition. In 1861 he moved to Rome, Italy,
then from 1849 he alternated between winters in sunny Rome and summers in cooler
Weimar. Liszt was truly a pan-European composer. In fact, he never spoke the
Hungarian language at all!
age of 54 he became an Abb�, and as a teacher, he had a huge influence on the
brilliant pianists of his day. He wrote a great deal of virtuoso piano music.