Franz Liszt; Ferencz Liszt

[Franz Liszt] Pianistic virtuoso and composer, born Raiding, Hungary, 1811; died Bayreuth, Germany, 1886. After his first performance in public at Oedenburg when nine years of age, his musical education was continued under Czerny and Salieri, and he became a conspicuous figure in Vienna and Paris. Brilliant concert tours in Switzerland and England were followed by a period of unfortunate associations with Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Heine, and George Sand at Paris, when he became intimate, 1834-1844, with the Countess d'Agoult (Daniel Stern). Of three children born to them, Cosima married Richard Wagner. More beneficial to his art was the friendship then begun with Meyerbeer and Chopin. Entering upon a pianistic career comparable to that of Paganini with the violin, he raised pianoforte technic to unparalleled heights. A creative period began with his retirement to Weimar, 1849, where he assumed the directorship of musical affairs, introducing Wagner's "Tannhauser" and "Lohengrin" and training his many pianoforte pupils. In 1858, repenting of his early laxity, he became a Franciscan tertiary and in 1865 received minor orders. As "abbe" he devoted himself to liturgical composition. He is best-known for his "Symphonic Poems," oratorios, and "Hungarian Rhapsodies."

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