The OSM devotes a festival to iconic Viennese composer Franz Schubert. Hear this masterful melodist’s emblematic Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise. Discover his many facets with Kent Nagano conducting the complete symphonies. The Schubert festival also features works by Mozart, Rossini, and Johann Strauss II. A roster of great artists will transport you to classical Vienna, the cosmopolitan and frivolous city swirling to the music of the waltz.
Born in Vienna, January 31, 1797 – Died in Vienna, November 19, 1828
It goes without saying that Franz Peter Schubert was one of the most phenomenal musical geniuses who ever lived. Moreover, it is sobering to remember that of all the great composers, Schubert died the youngest. He lived less than 32 years, yet managed to leave a legacy of music so extensive that few composers – even those whose life span was two or three times greater – have matched it.
Schubert was born into a middle class Viennese family. His father was a schoolteacher with a small but sufficient income. Franz was the twelfth of fourteen children, though only five made it to adulthood. The family lived in a cramped, three-room apartment at 54 Nussdorferstrasse (now a museum). Schubert’s father and older brother taught him violin and piano but it took only a few months before the boy showed that he knew more than his teachers. When he was eleven, he was admitted to one of the best boarding schools in Vienna. He sang in the Court Chapel Choir, played violin and piano, and composed music. He lies buried in a special spot in Vienna’s Central Cemetery, near Beethoven. The tomb is surrounded with trees, bushes, flowers and vines, showing that the city of Vienna still honours one of its greatest geniuses.
The words inscribed on the monument are by Schubert’s friend, the author Franz Grillparzer:
“The art of music here entombed a rich possession, but even fairer hopes.”