Franz Schubert

* 31.01.1797 in Vienna; ✝ 19.11.1828 in Vienna




Franz Schubert’s father gave him music lessons from the age of five onwards. In October 1808 he was accepted as choirboy by the Vienna Court Choir and the Imperial ‘Konvikt’ school (he was second violin in the ‘Konvikt’ Orchestra), where he was taught by, among others, Antonio Salieri. In view of the fact that Schubert’s academic performance got ever worse, he found it impossible to retain his position at the foundation and returned home in 1813, where, after attending teacher training college, he worked as his own father’s school assistant. But music took up so much of his time that his duties as school teacher could hardly be longer reconciled with it, so that Schubert attempted to establish himself as composer – without success, though this did not dissuade him from giving up his position as teacher.

With the aid of an influential circle of friends Schubert’s works were, indeed, publicly performed, but he received no remuneration for it – music publishers weren’t interested in his compositions, so that he was financially dependent on his friends’ generosity. After holding a number of modest positions (e.g. with Count Esterházy) in 1818/19, a more sustained success began to manifest itself, and by 1822 at the latest he was earning a good living from his music. Schubert, however, then again enjoyed mixed fortunes until his death on 19th November 1828.

Schubert is often described as an unacknowledged genius, doing great things away from the public gaze. And he really was astonishingly creative: besides some six hundred songs he composed twelve symphonies, numerous choral works, church music, and works for piano and chamber orchestra. He is recognized along with Beethoven as the founder of Romantic music in German-speaking countries.


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Schubert, Franz, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 26.09.2023)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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