Franz Schubert was born in Vienna in 1797, and from an early age showed great musical gifts. He received his first musical instruction from his father and elder brother, but soon exceeded their musical abilities, and went to study at the Stadtkonvikt school in 1808, where he became acquainted with the orchestral music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. After leaving the school in 1813, he returned home to become a schoolteacher, but continued his musical studies with Antonio Salieri, composing a large amount of music. He finally achieved local acclaim after giving a concert of his own works in 1828, but died just eight months later.

Despite his short lifetime, Schubert was an incredibly prolific composer writing some 600 vocal works and many more pieces for orchestra, stage, and chamber music. He had a turbulent personal life, perhaps fuelling his often incredibly dramatic music, and experienced extreme highs and lows of mood. His compositions are loved by many today, and interest in his music has never been higher.

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