Franz Liszt (Liszt Ferencz or Liszt Ferenc in Hungarian) was born on October 22, 1811,
in the village of Doborjan (Raiding in German) in the Kingdom of Hungary in the Austrian Empire. His parents were Adam and Maria Anna Lager Liszt. His father played the piano, violin, cello, and guitar, and he personally knew Haydn, Hummel, and Beethoven.
When he was six years old, Liszt became interested in his father’s piano playing. When he was seven years old, his father began to teach him how to play the piano. When he was eight years old, Liszt was doing elementary compositions. By the time he was nine years old, he was giving concerts. After listening to him play, “a group of wealthy sponsors offered to finance his musical education in Vienna.” He eventually became a “prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, organist, philanthropist, author, nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.” His Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor (Orchestra version) can be heard at this site.
Liszt eloped to Switzerland with Countess Marie d’Agoult who left her husband and family to be with Liszt. The couple had three children: Blandine, Cosima, and Daniel.
Liszt seemed to be in good health and to be fit and active even though his feet and legs were swollen with possible congestive heart failure. After he fell on the stairs in a Weimar hotel on July 2, 1881, he was immobilized for eight weeks and never recovered from his fall. He had other ailments – dropsy, asthma, insomnia, and a cataract – in addition to heart disease. He died at age 74 on July 31, 1886, in Bayreuth, Germany, from pneumonia. He was buried on August 3, 1886, in the municipal cemetery of Bayreuth against his wishes.