Franz Liszt (1811–1886)

How to say the name:

‘Lizst’ is said like List. ‘Franz’ is said like ‘France’.


22nd October 1811 in Raiding, Sopron County, Hungary (now in Austria).

Liszt’s grave in Bayreuth


31st July 1886 in Bayreuth, Germany.


Alter Friedhof (Old Cemetery), Bayreuth.

Type of Music:

Classical music from the romantic period.

A famous piece:
  • Liebesträume (Dreams of Love) No. 3 (for piano). (See below for a video.)
Some great pieces:
  • Hungarian Rhapsodies (for piano). (See below for a video of the most well-known one.)
  • Piano Sonata in B minor.
  • Années de Pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage)—a set of pieces for piano.
  • Many other piano pieces.
  • Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2.
  • Faust Symphony (a symphonic poem).
Some interesting facts:
  • He was one of the greatest piano players who has ever lived!
  • Most of his music is written for the piano. And most this is very, very difficult to play!
  • In Liszt’s day the pianos weren’t as strong as they are now. Liszt often broke piano strings when he played! In fact, audiences used to be disappointed if he didn’t break any strings!!
  • He was a great fan of Wagner. In fact, Wagner married Liszt’s daughter, Cosima.
  • Brahms didn’t like Liszt’s music, and even went to sleep when Liszt played his Piano Sonata in B&#160minor!
  • The set of pieces Années de Pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage) was written as Liszt travelled around Europe. They are like a musical diary of places he went and how he felt about the things he saw.
  • He wrote the first &#8216symphonic poem’—a piece of music for an orchestra that tells a story.

Here is a video of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. (Move forward in this video to see how difficult this music is to play!!)

Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

And here is a video of Liszt’s Liebesträume (Dreams of Love) No. 3.

Liszt’s Liebesträume (Dreams of Love) No. 3

Picture credits:
  1. Franz Liszt. This is a painting by Barabás Miklós from 1847. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Liszt’s grave in Bayreuth. This photograph was taken by Thierry Selva. I have obtained permission from him to use the image here. Click here for the source of this image.
Video credits:
  1. Maksim – Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 (Liszt). For scores and more please visit Maksim Mrvica playing the 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody live at the Roundhouse London. Excellent performance.
  2. Lang Lang plays Liebestraum. The person who posted this on YouTube simply writes: Composed by Liszt of course.