Franz Peter Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828)
Schubert was born in Himmelpfortgrund, part of greater Vienna. His father was a parish schoolmaster and his mother a housemaid. He was one of fourteen children, nine of which died in infancy.
At the age of six, Franz began to receive regular instruction from his father, and a year later was enrolled at his father's school. His formal musical education started around the same time. His father had been teaching him on violin and his brother Ignaz was giving him piano lessons, before the local organist and choirmaster took on his musical education. When has only seven, his talent came to the attention of Vienna’s leading musical authority, Antonia Salieri, which led to a choir scholarship, and he was introduced to the music of Mozart and Haydn.
Schubert’s composition output was immense – although his music was little known in his lifetime. After his premature death, there was a lot of interest in his work, most especially from Mendelsohn, Schumann, Liszt and Brahms. He is regarded as one of the alltime greats and his countless beautiful lyrics are played or sung to this day.
Schubert was rather shy character, except when he broke off his work and went for his favourite tipple of red wine; basically he worked hard and played hard – no doubt the latter was a factor in his early death.