Franz Liszt (born Franz Joseph Liszt) (German pronunciation: [ˈfʁants ˈlɪst]; Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz, in modern usage Liszt Ferenc, pronounced [ˈlist ˈfɛrɛnt͡s]; October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, organist, philanthropist, author, nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.
Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his prodigious virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was claimed by some contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age.
He was a friend, musical promoter and benefactor to many composers of his time, including Frédéric Chopin, Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School (Neudeutsche Schule); himself an avant-garde. He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated many 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable musical contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and making radical departures in harmony.