- NAME: Frédéric Chopin
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Pianist
- BIRTH DATE: March 01, 1810
- DEATH DATE: October 17, 1849
- Did You Know?: Frédéric Chopin was composing complex musical pieces at age 7.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Zelazowa Wola, Poland
- PLACE OF DEATH: Paris, France
- AKA: Fryderyk Franciszek Szopen
- Full Name: Frédéric Chopin
- AKA: Fryderyk Szopen
- AKA: Frédéric François Chopin
- Nickname: Frycek
- AKA: Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin
Best Known For
Considered Poland's greatest composer, Frédéric Chopin focused his efforts on piano composition and was a strong influence on composers who followed him.
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Born on March 1, 1810, in Zelazowa Wola, Poland, Frédéric Chopin, grew up in a middle-class family. He published his first composition at age 7 and began performing one year later. In 1832, he moved to Paris, socialized with high society and was known as an excellent piano teacher. His piano compositions were highly influential. He died of tuberculosis and ill health on October 17, 1849, in Paris, France.
"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art."
"I wish I could throw off the thoughts which poison my happiness, but I take a kind of pleasure in indulging them."
"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!"
Frédéric Chopin was born Fyderyk Franciszek Szopen on March 1, 1810, in the small village of ?elazowa Wola, Duchy of Warsaw (now Poland). His Father, Nicholas, was a French émigré who was working as a bookkeeper when he met and married Justyna Krzy?anowska. Soon after Frederic was born, Nicholas found employment as a tutor for aristocratic families in Warsaw.
His father's employment exposed young Chopin to cultured Warsaw society, and his mother introduced him to music at an early age. By age 6, young Chopin was ably playing the piano and composing tunes. Recognizing his talent, his family engaged professional musician Wojcheh Zywny for lessons, and soon pupil surpassed teacher in both technique and imagination.
By 1818, Chopin was performing in elegant salons and writing his own compositions, including the Polonaise in G Minor. By 1826, he had composed several piano pieces in different styles, and his parents enrolled him in the Warsaw Conservatory of Music, where he studied for three years under Polish composer Josef Elsner.
Sensing he needed a broader musical experience, Chopin's parents sent him to Vienna, where he made his performance debut in 1829. Audiences were enthralled with his highly technical yet poetically expressive performances. Over the next few years, Chopin performed in Poland, Germany, Austria and Paris, where he settled in 1832. There he quickly established relationships with other young composers, among them Franz Liszt, Vincenzo Bellini and Felix Mendelssohn.
While in Paris, Chopin found his delicate style didn't always enthrall the larger concert audiences, who had been exposed to the works of Franz Schubert and Ludwig Van Beethoven. A fortuitous introduction to the Rothschild family opened new doors, however, and Chopin soon found employment in the great parlors of Paris as both recitalist and teacher. His increased income allowed him to live well and compose such pieces as Nocturnes of Opp. 9 and 15, the Scherzo in B-flat minor, Op. 31 and the Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35.
Though Chopin had had youthful love affairs and was at one time engaged, none of his relationships lasted more than a year. In 1838 he began a love affair with French novelist Aurore Dedevant, aka, George Sand. The couple spent a harsh winter on the island of Majorca, south of France, where Chopin became ill. In March 1839, Sand realized that he needed medical attention and took him to Marseille, where he was diagnosed with consumption (tuberculosis). There, a skilled physician helped him recover.
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