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Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828). Romantic Era Composer.
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Romantic Era Composer
Franz Peter Schubert was born in Vienna Austria (1797) to Franz Theodor Schubert and Elisabeth Vietz Schubert. His father was a parish schoolmaster. Of the fourteen children born to his parents, only five lived beyond infancy.
Their father was a well-known teacher, and his school was well attended. He was not a musician of fame or with formal training, but he taught his son some elements of music.
Parents of Franz Schubert
House were Franz Schubert was born
Schubert’s older brother Ignaz taught him to play the piano and write music. By age 10 Franz was the leading singer in the local church and was composing pieces for the services.
When Schubert was 11 years old, he went to live at a school in Vienna called the Imperial Seminary. During the day the students studied regular subjects and then had music lessons at night. On the weekends they performed concerts. Schubert sang in the choir and played violin in the school orchestra. Schubert was a good student.
Antonio Salieri was Schubert’s teacher at the Imperial Seminary. At that time, he was Vienna's leading musical authority. While studying at the Imperial seminary Schubert was introduced to the music of Mozart. Salieriwas impressed with Schubert and decided to begin training him privately in musical composition and theory.
Antonio Salieri 1750-1825
Teacher for Franz Schubert
In 1814, (age 17) he entered his father's school as teacher of the youngest students. Unfortunately, Schubert didn’t enjoy teaching, and was miserable in his new position. He did, however, continue to receive private lessons in composition from Salieri.
Schubert was a gifted pianist, but he did not like performing at big concerts. During his entire life, he only gave one public concert.
He did however, play for his friends at parties-sometimes writing music on the spot. Schubert had many friends and fans of his music. These people took on a nickname: “Schubertians”. When the group gathered together to listen to and discuss Schubert’s music they called the event a “Schubertiade”.
These events were generally informal, unadvertised gatherings, held at private homes.
A Schubertiade with
Franz Schubert at the piano
In the autumn of 1822 (six years before his death), Schubert began writing a work which showed his maturity and genius as a composer. It is called the "Unfinished Symphony" in B minor.
Although Schubert completed the first and second movement to this symphony, he only left sketches of the final movement. We do not know why it was never finished. It is also remarkable that he didn't mention it to any of his friends. This symphony is considered one of Schubert’s masterpieces and is performed frequently.
Another of Schubert’s most famous pieces is Ava Marie. It has been sung by opera and popular singers since it was first written.
Schubert wrote some 600 Lieder (romantic songs). Lied means song in German. Lied are a type of musical composition based on a poem about nature or love. Lieder means more than one.
He also wrote nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), church music, operas and solo piano music.
Although Schubert was an enormously talented musician and composer, he was relatively unknown until years after his death when his music was rediscovered.
He died at 31. The cause of his death was officially diagnosed as typhoid fever.
Franz Schubert Memorial