In 1804, Schubert came to the attention of Antonio Salieri,
Vienna's leading musical authority, and he was admitted to the Stadtkonvikt on a choir scholarship. Here Schubert was introduced to the music of Mozart and,
more importantly, the songs of Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg. Schubert became vastly
interested in Zumsteeg's Lieder and remarked that he "wanted to modernize" the
German Lied. During his time at the Stadtkonvikt, Schubert's talents in
composition began to show and Salieri soon took it upon himself to train him
privately in composition and theory.
Towards the end of 1813, Schubert left the Stadtkonvikt and
in 1814 became a teacher at his father's school. However, he still continued
his composition lessons with Salieri until they parted ways in 1817. Though
teaching in his father's school provided him with income, Schubert was
indifferent to the profession. In 1816, accepting the invitation of a friend to
move in with his family, Schubert left his post as teacher.
In the years following 1816, Schubert developed a close
circle of friends who provided much of his support. The most prominent of these
was Johann Michael Vogl, a prominent baritone, and later the recipient of many
of Schubert's Lieder. Though Schubert enjoyed some public success during his
lifetime, much of music did not travel far beyond this circle of friends. Many
of them promoted Schubert's music in Vienna's musical circles and after his
death, collected and preserved it. In 1820, however, Schubert and four of his
friends were arrested by the Austrian secret police, who were unwarrantably
suspicious of any kind of student gatherings. One friend was imprisoned for
over a year while Schubert and the others were severely reprimanded.
The year 1819 marks the beginning of Schubert's maturity as
a composer and many of his most well-known works came in the succeeding years.
Despite this, publishers were hesitant to publish his compositions. During this
time, Schubert also began his troubled relationship with the stage. Though he
produced several operas, and a couple were even given performances, for one
reason or another Schubert's operatic attempts were more or less failures.
Though Schubert's creative activity increased throughout the
1820s, he gradually fell ill. During the summer of 1828, he visited the court
physician who possibly confirmed Schubert's terminal illness. His conditioned
worsened after that and he died on November 19, 1828. The last musical work he
wished to hear was Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor and he
was later buried next to the great master, by his own request, whom he had
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