Franz Liszt

Dublin Core


Franz Liszt


Sound-color synesthesia


Born in Raiding, Hungary in 1811, Franz List was a well-known virtuoso pianist and composer. During his career, Liszt wrote hundreds of compositions and invented the symphonic poem. At the age of six or seven, Liszt’s father began teaching Liszt piano lessons, and he appeared in his first concert at the age of nine. Through the assistance of wealthy Hungarian patrons in attendance of the concert, Liszt studied for six years in Vienna and Paris, and also studied with Carl Czerny—a former pupil of Antonio Salieri and Ludwig van Beethoven. Liszt made his debut in Paris in 1824 and received tremendous reviews. He went on to perform many famous concerts, none more notable than for King George IV. These events all occurred in Liszt’s teen years, and the stress and hectic nature of his performances led him to nearly enter the seminary. His parents opposed the move and Liszt continued with his musical career, which spanned seven decades. As a result of his great musical talent, charisma, and good looks, in the 1840’s Liszt was a “rock star”. Liszt also became a very successful composer. His first work was Années de Pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage, 1837–1854), which was based on impressions of landscapes and paintings. Liszt was known to use his colored hearing in his orchestral compositions, saying "'O please, gentlemen, a little bluer, if you please! This tone type requires it!' Or: 'That is a deep violet, please, depend on it! Not so rose!' First the orchestra believed Liszt just joked; more later they got accustomed to the fact that the great musician seemed to see colors there, where there were only tones" (Mahling, 1926, p. 230).


Synesthesia Digital Library



Franz Liszt © 2012 Jon Stich


SDL 009




Synesthesia Digital Library, “Franz Liszt,” Synesthesia Digital Library, accessed October 1, 2020,

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