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Franz Liszt:
Classial Music Superstars

Inspired by violinist Niccolo Paganini, Franz Liszt became a piano superstar. Many classical music superstars followed, including Jan Paderewski, Jenny Lind, Van Cliburn, Enrico Caruso, Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang.

Music heard in this episode:
Paganini: Caprice #24 for Solo Violin
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody #2
Paderewski: Minuet in G
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1: 1st mvt
Bishop: Lo! Here the Gentle Lark!
Leoncavallo: Pagliacci: “Vesti la giubba”
Puccini: Turandot: “Nessun dorma”
Bach: Toccata and Fugue in d
Bernstein: West Side Story: "America"
Hummel: Trumpet Concerto: 3rd mvt
Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suite #1: Gigue
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody #2

Other shows about Franz Liszt:
About Franz Liszt
Romani, or Gypsy Music
Famous Pianist - Composers

Download this month's activity sheet

About Franz Liszt
10/22/1811 - 7/31/1886
Born in Hungary

While Franz Liszt was a composer, conductor, critic and teacher, he was best known as a pianist. He was the first of the virtuoso performers. When Liszt walked onto the stage, he took over the hall, amazing the audience with his incredible technique and his awesome presence. He was a true showman and the man who invented the solo recital. Although some were annoyed by his personality, Liszt was one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known.

As a composer, Liszt, of course, wrote music primarily for the piano. He also transcribed popular orchestral works for this instrument. Many of his pieces are tremendously difficult and few pianists can perform them properly. Later in his life, he started writing music for the orchestra and composed wonderful melodies.

Liszt also wrote music criticism and was known as a conductor and teacher. He trained many of the performers of his time in his tradition.

Because of his ego and attitude, Liszt was always a controversial figure. However, he is recognized as one of the dominant personalities of 19th century Romantic music.

See other composers born in Hungary


This Week's Quiz:

1. Who was the only musician to receive a ticket-tape parade in New York City?

Leonard Bernstein

Aaron Copland

Mario Lanza

Van Cliburn

2.Who was known as the Swedish Nightingale?

Jenny Lind

Amy Beach

Clara Schumann

Fanny Mendelssohn

3. Who shook hands with Mickey Mouse?

Yo-Yo Ma

Leonard Bernstein

Leopold Stokowski

Enrico Caruso


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