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Franz Liszt was born on October 22 1811 and lived until July 31 1886 He was taught the piano by his father and then Czerny Vienna 1822-1823 making himself known as a remarkable concert artist by the age of 12 In Paris he studied theory and composition with Reicha and Paer he wrote an opera and bravura piano pieces and went on tours in France Switzerland and England before his bad health and religious doubt made him rethink his career Intellectual growth came through literature and the urge to create through hearing opera and especially Paganini whose influence effected Liszt He eagerly transferred to the piano in original works and operatic fantasias Meanwhile he gave lessons and began his stormy relationship 1833-1844 with the married Countess Marie dAgoult They lived in Switzerland and Italy and had three children He gave concerts in Paris maintaining his legendary reputation and published some essays but was active chiefly as a composer Annees de plerinage To help raise funds for the Bonn Beethoven monument he resumed the life of a travelling virtuoso 1839-1847 he was admired everywhere from Ireland to Turkey Portugal to Russia In 1848 he took up a full-time job conducting post at the Weimar court Living with Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein he wrote or revised most of the major works for which he is known conducted new operas by Wagner Berlioz and Verdi and as the teacher of Hans von Blow and others in the German avant-garde became the figurehead of the New German school In 1861- 1869 he lived mainly in Rome writing religious works taking minor orders in 1865 from 1870 he traveled regularly between Rome Weimar and Budapest He remained active as a teacher and performer to the end of his life Liszts personality appears contradictory in its combination of romantic abstraction and otherworldliness with a cynical diabolism and elegant worldly manners But though he had a restless intellect he also was
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