Franz Liszt – his early years

Franz Liszt was born in 1811 and died a few months before his 75th birthday. This Hungarian born composer and pianist was raised with a musical father and started his piano playing training quite young. At a young age he had already given a few concerts and done some basic composing.

Around the age of 9, Liszt and his father travelled to Vienna in order for Franz to pursue further studies in music. Sponsored by some wealthy benefactors, he took lessons with Carl Czerny and Antonio Salieri. At the age of 12, Liszt’s father took him to Paris to attempt to gain entry into the Paris Conservatory. Unfortunately he was denied entry as a foreigner so private training and public concerts continued until his father’s death in 1927. At this point Liszt and his mother lived together in Paris, where he stopped performing and focused on teaching both piano and composition.

For the end of his teenage years, he kept a busy schedule with teaching. He usually started early in the morning and went until late in the evening, travelling across much of Paris to reach his various pupils. And while his music education had been attended to well, his formal education had not. He spent a lot of time during this period reading and self educating as well. His doubts about pursuing his passion with music ran deep and he questioned his choice of profession for a while. It wasn’t until the early 1830’s that Liszt resumed performing and composing in earnest.


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