(January 31, – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.
It was in the genre of the Lied, however, that Schubert made his most indelible mark. Plantinga remarks, "In his more than six hundred lieder he explored and expanded the potentialities of the genre as no composer before him." Prior to Schubert's influence, lieder tended toward a strophic, syllabic treatment of text, evoking the folksong qualities burgeoned by the stirrings of Romantic nationalism. Among Schubert's treatments of the poetry of Goethe, his settings of Gretchen am Spinnrade and Der Erlkönig are particularly striking for their dramatic content, forward-looking uses of harmony, and their use of eloquent pictorial keyboard figurations, such as the depiction of the spinning wheel and treadle in the piano in Gretchen and the furious and ceaseless gallop the right hand in Erlkönig. Also of particular note are his two song cycles on the poems of Wilhelm MüllerDie schöne Müllerin and Winterreiseand the collection Schwanengesang, all of which helped to establish the genre and its potential for musical, poetic, and dramatic narrative. In turn, Schubert's work in Lieder fostered interest in shorter and more lyrical instrumental works