Franz Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1797. The originator and supreme exponent of the modern German Lied, and a genius at melodic invention, he wrote 9 symphonies, much piano and chamber music, and the famous song cycles.

Schubert admired Beethoven, but did not enjoy the same fame in his lifetime. Schubert's world was one of more intimate meetings of friends in houses and salons, playing piano works, songs, and chamber music. His art was founded on solid classical traditions, but he also became a supreme romantic, inspired by the natural beauty of the Austrian Tyrol, where he frequently hiked with his singer friend Johann Vogl.  His string quartet The Trout based on his own song written earlier, is a supreme example of his chamber music.

He became seriously ill in his last four years, but his musical output was prolific none the less. He wrote the 8th Symphony (Unfinished), his 9th Symphony (The Great), and The Shepherd on the Rock in this last period. He died tragically in 1828 at the age of only 31.