Franz Schubert



Schubert's Timeline

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By Patrick Imialek

1797 (birth) - Franz Peter Schubert is born in Vienna on January 31 to Franz Theodor Schubert, a parish schoolmaster and son of a Moravian peasant, and Elizabeth Vietz, the daughter of a Silesian master locksmith. The family had 16 children in total, eleven of which died in infancy.

1803 (age 6) - Schubert begins to receive musical instruction from his father.

1804 (age 7) - Schubert is enrolled at the Himmelpfortgrund school. His formal musical education also begins under the instruction of Michael Holzer.

1808 (age 11) - Schubert is received as a pupil at the Stadtkonvikt by means of a choir scholarship. Here he is introduced to the overtures and symphones of Mozart.

1812 (age 15) - Elizabeth Vieck, Schubert's mother, passes away. Schubert dedicates an octet for wind instruments (D.72/72a) for her.

1813 (age 16) - Upon graduating from the Stadtkonvikt, Schubert composes his First Symphony (D.82). He then begins to teach at his father's school. During this time, Schubert also begins to receive very influential private lessons in composition from Antonio Salieri.

1815 (age 18) - A very prolific year for Schubert, among a number of other works he composes Erlkönig, one of his most famous lied. Schubert's petition to marry Therese Grob, a 17-year-old maiden, is turned down.

1816 (age 19) - Greatly oppressed by the drudgery of teaching, Schubert is thrilled when he is offered patronage by Franz von Schober, a student of good family and means.

1820 (age 23) - Amongst many other works, this year Schubert composes the Gesang der Geister (D.705/714), the Quartettsatz in C minor (D.703), and the Wanderer Fantasy for piano (D.760).

1821 (age 24) - When Schubert's friend Vogl sings Erlkönig at a concert, Anton Diabelli agrees to publish some of Schubert's works on commission.

1822 (age 25) - Schubert composes the grand Romantic opera Fierrabras, which is refused. He also begins to compose the Unfinished Symphony (Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D.759). It is this year that Schubert contracts the syphilis which will become one of the causes of his early death.

This year Schubert makes the acquaintance of Carl maria von Weber and Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven says of Schubert: "Truly, the spark of divine genius resides in this Schubert!"

1823 (age 26) - Schubert's incidental music (D.797) to the play Rosamunde is withdrawn after two nights, and his second grand Romantic opera, Alfonso und Estrella, is refused. Schubert's first song cycle Die schöne Müllerin (D.795) is published.

1824 (age 27) - In the spring Schubert composes the Octet in F (D.803). After returning to Želiezovce, he composes the Divertissement a l'Hongroise (D.818) and the String Quartet in A minor (D.804).

1825 (age 28) - Schubert spends the summer vacationing in Upper Austria. He composes his Songs from Sir Walter Scott, a cycle that contains his famous Ellens dritter Gesang (D.839), which today is often mistakenly referred to as Ave Maria. During this time he also composes the Piano Sonata in A minor (D.845, Op. 42) and the Symphony No. 9 (in C major, D.944).

1826 (age 29) - At the beginning of the year, Schubert composes the String Quartet in D minor (D.810), with the variations on Death and the Maiden. Later in the year, amongst other works, he also composes the String Quartet in G major, the "Rondeau brilliant" for piano and violin (D.895, Op.70), and the Piano Sonata in G (D.894, Op.78).

1827 (age 30) - Amongst many other works such as the <i>Fantasia</i> for piano and violin in C (D.934) and the String Quintet in C (D.956), Schubert also composes the famous song cycle <i>Winterreise</i> (D.911), the peak of the art of <i>lieder</i>.

1828 (age 31) - Schubert's health begins to rapidly deterioate. The illness may be typhoid fever or mercury poisoning, mercury being a common treament 19th century treatment for syphilis. Schubert does not expect to survive his illness, and he finds solace in reading, particularly in the writings of James Fenimore Cooper.

Schubert passes away on November 19 and, by his own request, is buried next to Beethoven in the village cemetery of Währing. Schubert and Beethoven's graves will eventually be moved to the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna.

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