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Franz Peter Schubert

Franz Peter SchubertFRANZ SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) was born in Vienna, the son of a schoolmaster. Schubert was raised in a highly musical environment and was taught to play the violin, viola and piano. At age 9, he began harmony and counterpoint studies, and at 11 entered the Imperial Chapel as a choirboy, receiving his musical and general education at the Staatskonvikt. The school gave him ample opportunity to develop his compositional technique. He studied theory with Antonio Salieri (who was choirmaster) and composed his First Symphony (1813) for the school orchestra.

After leaving the Staatskonvikt, Schubert studied to be a teacher for a year and went on to teach in his father’s school. But after three years of teaching, Schubert decided to dedicate his life to music and began composing full time. Despite his death at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous Unfinished Symphony), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music.

Schubert spent his life largely in Vienna, enjoying the company of friends but never holding any position in the musical establishment or attracting the kind of patronage that Beethoven had 20 years earlier. Nevertheless, interest in Schubert’s work increased dramatically in the decades following his death. Today he is admired as one of the leading exponents of the early Romantic era in music, and he remains one of the most frequently performed composers.

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