Widely regarded as one of the most influential composers of the Romantic era. He was best known for such works as "Papillons" and "Carnaval" from 1834.
He was forced to give up his ambitions to be a great pianist after an injury permanently damaged one of his hands. He wrote solely for the piano until 1840, after which he composed Lieder, symphonies, one opera, and orchestral, choral, and chamber pieces.
His musical pieces were marked by an internal logic and structure, but still felt improvisational and free-flowing.
His parents were not musically inclined, but still encouraged their son's ambitions. He married his wife Clara, a prominent concert pianist, against her father's wishes, which prompted a bitter legal battle over her earnings.
He and Modest Mussorgsky were contemporaries and both were renowned composers of the Romantic era.