Composer Spotlight: Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was an Austrian composer whose short life encompassed the shift from the Classical music period to the Romantic era, and who was known for his work in the lieder genre. While Schubert initially trained as a violinist, violist, and organist, it was his vocal prowess which enabled him to attend the Stadtkonvikt on a choir scholarship, where he studied under the tutelage of Antonio Salieri. Though Schubert left the school in 1812, he continued studying violin under Salieri and began to compose more often, taking much of his inspiration from poems. His compositions became notable initially due to the rich imagery he integrated into his works, and as he matured, he began to expand into larger-scale works. Schubert’s works for the stage were never successful but his other songs and dances became so popular in Vienna that parties were given which focused exclusively on his music. In 1822, Schubert fell ill, most likely of syphilis, but continued to compose until his death in 1828, composing over 1,000 works in his thirty-one years of life.

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