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Title: Franz Liszt : The Story of a Boy Who Became a Great Pianist and Teacher

Author: Thomas Tapper

Release date: March 17, 2011 [eBook #35601]
Most recently updated: January 7, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Ernest Schaal, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at



binding diagram

Directions for Binding

Enclosed in this envelope is the cord and the needle with which to bind this book. Start in from the outside as shown on the diagram here. Pass the needle and thread through the center of the book, leaving an end extend outside, then through to the outside, about 2 inches from the center; then from the outside to inside 2 inches from the center at the other end of the book, bringing the thread finally again through the center, and tie the two ends in a knot, one each side of the cord on the outside.

THEO. PRESSER CO., Pub's., Phila., Pa.


This book is one of a series known as the CHILD'S OWN BOOK OF GREAT MUSICIANS, written by Thomas Tapper, author of "Pictures from the Lives of the Great Composers for Children," "Music Talks with Children," "First Studies in Music Biography," and others.

The sheet of illustrations included herewith is to be cut apart by the child, and each illustration is to be inserted in its proper place throughout the book, pasted in the space containing the same number as will be found under each picture on the sheet. It is not necessary to cover the entire back of a picture with paste. Put it only on the corners and place neatly within the lines you will find printed around each space. Use photographic paste, if possible.

After this play-work is completed there will be found at the back of the book blank pages upon which the child is to write his own story of the great musician, based upon the facts and questions found on the previous pages.

The book is then to be sewed by the child through the center with the cord found in the enclosed envelope. The book thus becomes the child's own book.

This series will be found not only to furnish a pleasing and interesting task for the children, but will teach them the main facts with regard to the life of each of the great musicians—an educational feature worth while.

This series of the Child's Own Book of Great Musicians includes at present a book on each of the following:

Bach MacDowell
Beethoven Mendelssohn
Brahms Mozart
Chopin Schubert
Grieg Schumann
Handel Tschaikowsky
Haydn Verdi
Liszt Wagner

Printed in the U.S.A.

Page one of illustrations

Page two of illustrations

Franz Liszt

The Story of a Boy Who Became
a Great Pianist and Teacher

This Book was made by



Theodore Presser Co.
1712 Chestnut Str.

Copyright 1921, by Theo. Presser Co.
British Copyright Secured

No. 1 Cut the picture of Franz Liszt from the picture sheet. Paste in here.  Write full name and dates beneath.






[Pg 3]

The Story of a Boy Who Became a Great
Pianist and Teacher

This is the house in which was born a little boy who became a famous pianist and a great teacher. This house is in Raiding, in Hungary.

No. 2

Now-a-days there is a little tablet over the door, which tells us that Franz Liszt was born in this house, on the Twenty-second Day of October, 1811.

No. 3

Do you remember that once upon a time Joseph Haydn lived as court musician in the Esterhazy family? He wore a tie wig and a wonderful bright uniform; for he was master of the music in that great house.

[Pg 4]

Now, long after Joseph Haydn's time, Adam Liszt, father of Franz, lived with the Esterhazy's. He was the family steward, having charge of all the property.

And, too, he loved music. So we may believe that he told his little boy, Franz, about the great master Haydn. For Adam Liszt was not only a lover of music but he gave his son his first lessons in piano playing. Liszt's mother was of German blood. She was born in lower Austria.

No. 4 No. 5

Little Franz practiced so faithfully and so eagerly, I am sure, that when he was only nine years of age he gave a concert in public. He played so well that some good friends offered to send him to Vienna where he could continue his studies.

And so the little boy left home and began the studies that led him to become the greatest pianist of his time. His piano teacher was a man of whom almost everybody knows. Does he not have a round, good-natured face? And does he not look kind? Well, he could be severe when his pupil's lessons did not please him.

[Pg 5]

His name was Carl Czerny. Here is his picture.

No. 6

On New Year's day of the year that little Franz was eleven years old he played in public in Vienna. It must have been a wonderful occasion. All the great people were there; and among them was one who was greatest of all, Beethoven.

No. 7

Then Adam Liszt thought his boy should go to Paris. He wished him to become a student in the conservatory there. But its director, Cherubini, refused to admit Franz to the classes. So, like most of us, he studied with a private teacher. Also, he traveled to England and to all the countries of Europe, giving concerts. His fame was becoming greater and his [Pg 6] playing was the delight of all who heard him. Here are two pictures of Franz as a boy. He dressed differently from boys of to-day. But do you not think his face is a fine one? Full of light and life and eagerness?

No. 8 No. 9

Franz was only sixteen years old when his father died. They had been good comrades, had traveled together and talked with one another about music and musicians. The boy must have grieved keenly over the loss of so good and kind a companion as his father had been. But he went earnestly to work to earn a living for his mother and himself. He knew many famous people and we may be sure that everyone helped him. Here are two of Franz's friends of that time.

No. 10 No. 11

[Pg 7]

No. 12

I am sure you will like to know how Liszt looked as he sat at the piano. Here he sits playing. You see he had only a simple kind of piano. But he mastered it so thoroughly that he could make people wonder at his art. That is what we learn from the lives of famous people. They are always true to their talent.

After Liszt had traveled many years over Europe (he never visited the United States), he became conductor at the Court Theatre at Weimar. This new music work interested him so much that he gave up travel as a concert pianist. He helped many composers by having their operas performed at the Weimar Theatre. Some of the operas that had their first performance there are now famous indeed.

Among these were "Lohengrin," "Tannhauser" and "The Flying Dutchman" by Richard Wagner.

No. 13 No. 14 No. 15

[Pg 8]

Then there were "Genoveva" and "Manfred" by Robert Schumann. Also "Alfonzo and Estrella" by Franz Schubert was given. It would have delighted Schubert's heart if he could have heard this; but he, poor man, had died some years before.

Then Liszt did something else at Weimar that endeared him to hosts of pianists. He held classes and taught the secrets of his wonderful playing to those who were talented and could understand. He was the soul of generosity. When someone, who was gifted but could not pay, came for advice, he gave it freely. When concerts did not pay, he himself often took the loss so that others should not suffer.

Is it not wonderful to think of a man, so loved by the public, giving with such great generosity? Truly it is better to give than to receive.

No. 16
S. Liebling - Rosenthal - Liszt - Dora - Peterson
Siloti - Ans der Ohe - Sauer - Gottschlag
Friedheim - Reisenauer

[Pg 9] All good and wonderful things live on forever. Even though Liszt moved from Weimar, spending his last years in Budapest, Rome and elsewhere, he was not idle. There was always a circle of people about him. And always his full-hearted, generous nature kept him at work for the good of others. He reminds us of Beethoven who once said, "Composing is a capital thing. For instance if a friend is in distress and I have no money at hand to help him, I can sit down and compose something which I can sell and so relieve him." It seems that Franz Liszt thought the same for he was forever helping someone else.

We have already seen how Liszt looked as he sat at the piano (see picture No. 12). This is Liszt at the conductor's stand. Do you see his baton and the score on the desk? And the position of the left hand? When Liszt conducted the orchestra the players watched every movement of his hands and every look of his eyes so as to play just as he desired.

No. 17

[Pg 10]Franz Liszt was kind to all people who came to him. There was one musician, however, for whom he did a great deal. You know him for he composed many operas. One of them is called "Parsifal." Another is "The Flying Dutchman." Place his picture here and write his name beneath.

No. 18

Some day the operas of Richard Wagner will give you great pleasure. At first they were not liked by the public. Wagner had few friends and his life was very hard. But Franz Liszt believed in him and in his work. And so he helped him.

At first Wagner did not like Liszt. He once said, "I never repeated my first call on Liszt." By this he meant that he wished the acquaintance to end. When Liszt realized that Wagner did not care to understand him, he tried his best to keep the friendship secure. Liszt never wished to misunderstand another human being. So, it was not long before Wagner's opinion of Liszt changed, for he said, later, "Through the love of this rarest friend I gained a real home for my art."

No. 19

There is one thing true for us all. We carry our early thoughts along with us all through life. The [Pg 11] friends we make from youth and the thoughts we think from youth are always at hand to bless us if we have done wisely.

Once when little Franz was thirteen years old he played before the English King, George IV. Sixty years later we see him again, once more the guest of the English people.

It is pleasant to think of Liszt meeting again and again the friends of his boyhood. When he went to England, on this occasion, he was quite an old man. As he stepped out upon the stage to play, for the last time, everybody, even the people outside of the hall, who could not get in, shouted themselves hoarse. Those within rose to greet him with tears and cheers that are given only to the kings of the earth.

No. 20

While we know of this artist chiefly as a great pianist, we shall learn, as we grow older, that he was a great composer as well. He wrote music for piano, for orchestra, for the voice. There are symphonies, masses, oratorios and cantatas. Once, as a boy, he met Franz Schubert in Vienna. In later years he arranged [Pg 12] many of Schubert's songs in a truly beautiful way for the piano,—songs like the "Erl King," "Thou Art My Peace," "Hark, Hark the Lark."

So we may end by saying that Franz Liszt was a great man who remained simple and big-hearted all his life, and one whom the world loved for what he did.

No. 21


Read these facts about Franz Liszt and try to make a story about him, in your own language.

When your story is done, and you have improved it all you can, copy it in pages 14, 15, and 16 of this book.

1. Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, in Hungary.

2. His birthday is October 22, 1811.

3. His father was his first teacher.

4. He studied piano in Vienna with Carl Czerny.

5. Then he went to Paris.

6. Among Liszt's boyhood friends were Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin.

7. After many years as a concert pianist, Liszt became opera conductor at Weimar.

[Pg 13] 8. He brought out many of the operas of Richard Wagner.

9. He was a great teacher of piano, and many people from Europe and from the United States studied with him.

10. He composed many fine works.

11. Among them are arrangements of many of Schubert's songs.

12. Liszt died in Rome in 1886. He was seventy-five years old.

13. Liszt wrote the life of his friend Frederic Chopin.

14. It has been said that no musician ever lived who did so much for others as Franz Liszt.


1. When and where was Franz Liszt born?

2. Who was his first teacher?

3. What was his father's occupation? In what family did he live?

4. Where was his mother born?

5. With whom did Franz study piano in Vienna?

6. What famous musician did he meet in Vienna?

7. Name two or three people whom he met in Paris.

8. What great composer of opera did he assist?

9. Name some operas that Liszt produced at Weimar.

10. In what Italian city did Liszt live?

11. Whose songs did he arrange for piano?

12. What great musician's life was written by Franz Liszt?

13. When and where did Franz Liszt die?

[Pg 14]


Written by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On (date) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

No. 22

Transcriber's Notes:

This book has inconsistencies in the names, sometimes anglicizing names and sometimes not. These inconsistencies were not corrected.

On page 16, a comma was added after "everybody".