You whippersnappers may think celebrities are a phenomena of the modern age but Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was just as famous throughout Europe as Lady Gaga and her ilk are today. Liszt displayed incredible talent at a young age, easily sight-reading multiple staves at once. After moving to Vienna to study under Salieri (Mozart's supposed rival), Liszt made his first public performance at the age of 9. It was such a success that Beethoven, who knew his father, rushed up on stage and kissed him.
Liszt left Vienna in 1823 to travel. In Paris, he attended a concert by the virtuoso violinist Paganini and became motivated to become the greatest pianist of his time. He often took to seclusion in his room, and was heard practicing for over 10 hours a day.
The flamboyant pianist would begin a concert by tossing his long blonde hair and throw his green gloves to the floor. He then would proceed with hair flopping over his eyes, thumping his piano to pieces. Women worshipped him, fought over him and collapsed in orgasmic swoons while he played - "Lisztomania
" they called it.