Franz Liszt lived from October 22, 1811 to July 31, 1886. He showed an early interest in music and began taking piano lessons from his father at age five. The child prodigy then began composing as early as age seven! Liszt was born and lived in Hungary until the age of ten, at which point his playing had so impressed the Hungarian nobility that they paid for him to travel to Vienna and study with Carl Czerny (a former pupil of Beethoven). He also spent time living and performing in Paris, Germany and Rome. At one point, Liszt gave up playing piano entirely for a year due to a period of nervous exhaustion, depression and illness. However, he did not stop playing for long, as he became once again inspired by composers such as Berlioz and Chopin. Liszt is regarded as one of the most accomplished and virtuosic pianists of all time. His skill and exceptional performance ability led to the emergence of the first solo piano recitals in history. Liszt played his own compositions as well as the compositions of others at concerts at which he was the sole performer. His inventiveness, virtuosity and fresh approach to piano composition left an enduring imprint on the development of future piano repertoire.