I focus on one composer every group lesson, and sometimes we will continue talking about that composer for the rest of the month. We’ve even had treats in honor of the composers’ birthday before.
This month at the group lesson we talked about Franz Liszt. His birthday is Oct 22, 1811 so if he were still alive he would be 200. We learned that his dad worked for Prince Esterhazy, and had known Hayden personally. Did you know that Liszt was denied entrance into a conservatory in Paris, because he was not a citizen of France? Liszt was amazed at a concert given by Paganini, and wanted to become the Paganini of the piano. He became friends with Fredrick Chopin, another composer and was encouraged by Chopin to write more songs. Liszt wrote over 1000 piano pieces, and gave many piano concerts. He also worked for the court at Weimar and helped many composers of his day by performing their works, and contributing financially to them. In 1866 he was given the title of lay priest by the pope. He died in 1886.
Information from: Norton music dictionary and “Meet the Great Composers book 1.”