Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.
Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age. In the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also a well-known composer, piano teacher, and conductor. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.
Why Liszt Tops Lang Lang’s List
After first hearing Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in a Tom and Jerry cartoon at the age of 3, Lang Lang realized his purpose. Now approaching 30, Liszt is still a big part of his life – so much so, he’s dedicated virtually an entire CD to his idol aptly entitled “Lizst: My Piano Hero.”