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Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert

*  1797 Himmelpfortgrund
† 1828 Wien

The composer Franz Schubert was born on January 31, 1797, in Himmelpfortgrund. His father, a teacher at the seminary, gave him regular musical instruction as a child. Thereafter he attended the school in Lichtental and began his musical education. His father taught him to play the violin, and he received organ lessons from Michael Holzer, the bandmaster of the church in Lichtental. Because of his voice, he was accepted by the court chapel in 1808 and the imperial boarding school for priests. Here he received lessons in composition from Wenzel Ruzicka and Antonio Salieri. His talent in composition soon came to light and he composed a piano fantasy in 1810. As his achievement in school had worsened, the young Schubert rejected an extension of his endowment and returned to his parents in 1813. After training as a teacher, he helped his father at the school from 1814 until 1818. He still received lessons from Salieri until 1816, when he unsuccessfully applied for the position of bandmaster in Laibach. Through the poet Johann Mayrhofer, he became acquainted with the baritone Johann Michael Vogl, who sang his songs in the Viennese salons and spread Schubert's reputation. The pianist Josef von Gahy also played his pieces. At this time, he was financially totally dependent on his circle of friends. In 1818, he was employed by the family of Duke Johann Esterhazy at his manor in Zseliz, Hungary as song and piano master. In the same year, he produced his "Symphony No. 6 in C major." After returning to Germany, he lived for two years at the home of his friend Mayrhofer. Beginning in 1821, musical evenings, known as the "Schubertiaden," were organized in his honor. He finished his "Mass No. 5 in A flat major" in 1822 and also began his "Symphony No. 7 in B minor." In 1825, he worked on the extensive "Symphony No. 8 in C major" and composed his "Piano Sonate in A minor." From 1826 until 1828, he lived in Vienna. On March 26, 1828, he gave his only public concert, though many of his voice and piano pieces had been published in the meantime. Franz Schubert died on November 19, 1828, in Vienna.