Franz Liszt

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"Franz Liszt" A composer of the early Romantic Period, Franz Liszt is considered to be one of the greatest pianists and performers off all time. He is credited with many innovations in addition to his multiple compositional works. The piano recital was one of his prominent creations, as was the symphonic poem, considered by many to be his greatest contribution, which is a work that tells a story.

He was born on October 22, 1811, in Raiding, Hungary. His mother was Austrian born and Liszt actually grew up speaking French. His father, Adam, was the steward to a Prince (Nicholas Esterházy), but spent much time away from work to help cultivate the talents of his son. Adam played the cello in a local orchestra and also played the piano. Liszt was first taught piano by his father and was recognized as a child prodigy at the age of six.

By the time he was eight, he was composing, and only three years later he was performing as a virtuoso pianist. His father, recognizing his son's great talent, tried to raise money so Franz could be taught professionally. Eventually a few Hungarian noblemen set up a fund to allow his family to move to Vienna in search of teachers.