Franz Liszt was one of the most influential and original composers of the 19th century. He was also a virtuoso pianist, a music teacher, a conductor, an organist, and a philanthropist. He was born in 1811 in Raiding, Hungary, and showed remarkable musical talent from an early age. He learned to play the piano from his father, who was a musician in the service of Prince Nicolas Eszterházy. He gave his first public concert at the age of nine and soon attracted the attention and support of wealthy patrons who sponsored his musical education.
Heitor Villa-Lobos was one of the most influential and original composers of the 20th century. His music reflects his deep connection with the rich and diverse musical traditions of his native Brazil, as well as his openness to the modernist currents of Europe and America. In this blog post, we will explore some aspects of his life and work, and how he contributed to the development of classical music in Latin America and beyond. Villa-Lobos was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1887, into a family of musicians. His father, Raul, was a librarian and an amateur cellist who taught him the basics of music. He also exposed him to various genres of music, such as opera, folk songs, and popular music. Villa-Lobos learned to play several instruments, including guitar, clarinet, piano, and cello. He also developed a passion for the music of Bach, which would influence his later compositions.
Maurice Ravel was a French composer of Swiss-Basque descent, who lived from 1875 to 1937. He is often associated with Impressionism, although he rejected the term. He was one of the most original and influential composers of the 20th century, known for his musical craftsmanship and perfection of form and style. Ravel was born in Ciboure, a Basque town near the Spanish border, to a music-loving family. His father was an engineer and inventor, and his mother was of Basque origin. He showed his talent for music at an early age, and entered the Paris Conservatoire at 14. There he studied with Gabriel Fauré, who became his mentor and friend. He composed some of his best-known works during his student years, such as the Pavane for a Dead Princess, the Sonatine, and the String Quartet.
Giuseppe Verdi was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century, whose operas are still widely performed and admired today. He was born in 1813 in a small village near Parma, Italy, and showed an early talent for music. He studied with local teachers and later moved to Milan, where he unsuccessfully applied to the conservatory. He then became a pupil of Vincenzo Lavigna, a former conductor at La Scala opera house.