Frédéric Chopin
Polish composer
Frédéric Chopin
Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. He is considered the great master of Romantic music and one of the greatest musicians of all time. Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his music education there; he composed many mature works in Warsaw before leaving Poland in 1830 at age 20, shortly before the November 1830 Uprising.
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Paid Notice: Deaths ATWOOD, WILLIAM G.
NYTimes - over 5 years
ATWOOD--William G.,M.D., of New York and Roxbury, CT died August 6, 2011. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for many years. Born December 14, 1932 in Kansas City, MO, he was the son of Dr. William Goodson Atwood, Sr. and Jenette Morris Atwood. Dr. Atwood was raised in Carrollton, MO, and he received his A. B. degree, cum laude, from Harvard
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Paid Notice: Deaths ATWOOD, WILLIAM G.
NYTimes - over 5 years
ATWOOD--William G.,M.D., of New York and Roxbury, CT died August 6, 2011. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for many years. Born December 14, 1932 in Kansas City, MO, he was the son of Dr. William Goodson Atwood, Sr. and Jenette Morris Atwood. Dr. Atwood was raised in Carrollton, MO, and he received his A. B. degree, cum laude, from Harvard
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Hum That Brand: Nokia Contest Seeks Update of Signature Tune - brandchannel.com
Google News - over 5 years
... update to refresh the ringtone, which has been in use since 1994 and is credited to Spanish composer-guitarist Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909), though it's been concluded that Tárrega's Gran Valse was “inspired” by Frederic Chopin's Grande Valse
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Where did that Nokia theme tune really come from? - The Next Web (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The Nokia tune, was originally called “Grande Valse” on Nokia phones, the same name given to a composition by Frederic Chopin. But Nokia's theme has always been credited to a Spanish guitarist and composer Francisco Tárrega and his song from 1902,
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Chopin concludes Piano Month at Old Saint Mary's (disappointingly) - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
One can appreciate that it would be appropriate to conclude Piano Month in the Noontime Concerts™ recital series (“San Francisco's Musical Lunch Break) at Old Saint Mary's Cathedral with a program consisting entirely of the music of Frédéric Chopin
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Prettiest game ever? - Washington Examiner
Google News - over 5 years
In the tradition of "Eternal Sonata," a roleplaying game based on the life of composer Frederic Chopin, "El Shaddai" is the rare game you'll walk away from knowing a bunch about a real-world subject. Or at least a bizarre Japanese interpretation of a
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Nakea to delight S. Utah with Chopin music - St. George Daily Spectrum
Google News - over 5 years
He will perform selected works of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). Chopin, a Polish composer who spent much of his life in France, is renowned for his great works for the piano. Some may remember Nakea's visit last year. For certain his appearance this
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Trpceski Joins Intl Crew at Tuscan Sun Festival - MINA
Google News - over 5 years
Chronicling the love story of renowned composer Frederic Chopin and infamous French writer and feminist Amandine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, known as George Sand, the performance explores the development of their unusual relationship over a decade
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Stephen Hough plays Chopin's waltz in A flat major - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Hough's name has become synonymous with pianistic elegance, flawless technique and immense musicianship and he has become globally renowned for his engaging and refined Chopin interpretations. Frederic Chopin, The Complete Waltzes is published by
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FREE SPEECH ZONE | Grazyna Auguscik at the Twin Cities Polish Festival - Twin Cities Planet
Google News - over 5 years
Writing in July 2010 Reich rhapsodized about Ms. Auguscik's performance of the work of Poland's national musician, Frederic Chopin: The music world has been awash with 200th anniversary celebrations of Frederic Chopin's birth, but surely none as
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Two Composers, Honored Silently
NYTimes - over 5 years
THERE seems to be no letup when it comes to celebrating composers' anniversaries. The keepers of Leonard Bernstein's flame fanned it early, calling New Yorkers to remember his 90th in 2008. Elliott Carter was honored in the same year, his 100th. Mendelssohn's 200th followed in 2009, and 2010 brought a bumper crop of celebrations, with impresarios
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Frédéric Chopin
    THIRTIES
  • 1849
    Age 38
    He died in Paris in 1849, at the age of 39, probably of tuberculosis.
    More Details Hide Details All of Chopin's compositions include the piano.
    With his health further deteriorating, Chopin desired to have a family member with him. In June 1849 his sister Ludwika came to Paris with her husband and daughter, and in September, supported by a loan from Jane Stirling, he took an apartment at Place Vendôme 12.
    More Details Hide Details After 15 October, when his condition took a marked turn for the worse, only a handful of his closest friends remained with him, although Viardot remarked sardonically that "all the grand Parisian ladies considered it de rigueur to faint in his room." Some of his friends provided music at his request; among them, Potocka sang and Franchomme played the cello. Chopin requested that his body be opened after death (for fear of being buried alive) and his heart returned to Warsaw where it rests at the Church of the Holy Cross. He also bequeathed his unfinished notes on a piano tuition method, Projet de méthode, to Alkan for completion. On 17 October, after midnight, the physician leaned over him and asked whether he was suffering greatly. "No longer", he replied. He died a few minutes before two o'clock in the morning. Those present at the deathbed appear to have included his sister Ludwika, Princess Marcelina Czartoryska, Sand's daughter Solange, and his close friend Thomas Albrecht. Later that morning, Solange's husband Clésinger made Chopin's death mask and a cast of his left hand.
    Here in June 1849 he was visited by Jenny Lind.
    More Details Hide Details
    During the summer of 1849, his friends found him an apartment in Chaillot, out of the centre of the city, for which the rent was secretly subsidised by an admirer, Princess Obreskoff.
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  • 1848
    Age 37
    Chopin made his last public appearance on a concert platform at London's Guildhall on 16 November 1848, when, in a final patriotic gesture, he played for the benefit of Polish refugees.
    More Details Hide Details By this time he was very seriously ill, weighing under 99 pounds (i.e. less than 45 kg), and his doctors were aware that his sickness was at a terminal stage. At the end of November, Chopin returned to Paris. He passed the winter in unremitting illness, but gave occasional lessons and was visited by friends, including Delacroix and Franchomme. Occasionally he played, or accompanied the singing of Delfina Potocka, for his friends.
    In late October 1848, while staying at 10 Warriston Crescent in Edinburgh with the Polish physician Adam Łyszczyński, he wrote out his last will and testament—"a kind of disposition to be made of my stuff in the future, if I should drop dead somewhere", he wrote to Grzymała.
    More Details Hide Details
    In April, during the Revolution of 1848 in Paris, he left for London, where he performed at several concerts and at numerous receptions in great houses.
    More Details Hide Details This tour was suggested to him by his Scottish pupil Jane Stirling and her elder sister. Stirling also made all the logistical arrangements and provided much of the necessary funding. In London Chopin took lodgings at Dover Street, where the firm of Broadwood provided him with a grand piano. At his first engagement, on 15 May at Stafford House, the audience included Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The Prince, who was himself a talented musician, moved close to the keyboard to view Chopin's technique. Broadwood also arranged concerts for him; among those attending were Thackeray and the singer Jenny Lind. Chopin was also sought after for piano lessons, for which he charged the high fee of one guinea (£1.05 in present British currency) per hour, and for private recitals for which the fee was 20 guineas. At a concert on 7 July he shared the platform with Viardot, who sang arrangements of some of his mazurkas to Spanish texts. On 28 August, he played at a concert in Manchester's Concert Hall, sharing the stage with Marietta Alboni and Lorenzo Salvi.
    In February 1848, with the cellist Auguste Franchomme, he gave his last Paris concert, which included three movements of the Cello Sonata Op. 65.
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    Most biographers of Chopin state that after this the two had little to do with each other, although in his letters dated as late as 1848 he still referred to him as "my friend Liszt".
    More Details Hide Details Some commentators point to events in the two men's romantic lives which led to a rift between them; there are claims that Liszt had displayed jealousy of his mistress Marie d'Agoult's obsession with Chopin, while others believe that Chopin had become concerned about Liszt's growing relationship with George Sand.
  • 1847
    Age 36
    In 1847 he did not visit Nohant, and he quietly ended their ten-year relationship following an angry correspondence which, in Sand's words, made "a strange conclusion to nine years of exclusive friendship."
    More Details Hide Details The two would never meet again. Chopin's output as a composer throughout this period declined in quantity year by year. Whereas in 1841 he had written a dozen works, only six were written in 1842 and six shorter pieces in 1843. In 1844 he wrote only the Op. 58 sonata. 1845 saw the completion of three mazurkas (Op. 59). Although these works were more refined than many of his earlier compositions, Zamoyski concludes that "his powers of concentration were failing and his inspiration was beset by anguish, both emotional and intellectual." Chopin's public popularity as a virtuoso began to wane, as did the number of his pupils, and this, together with the political strife and instability of the time, caused him to struggle financially.
  • 1846
    Age 35
    Chopin's relations with Sand were soured in 1846 by problems involving her daughter Solange and Solange's fiancé, the young fortune-hunting sculptor Auguste Clésinger.
    More Details Hide Details The composer frequently took Solange's side in quarrels with her mother; he also faced jealousy from Sand's son Maurice. Chopin was utterly indifferent to Sand's radical political pursuits, while Sand looked on his society friends with disdain. As the composer's illness progressed, Sand had become less of a lover and more of a nurse to Chopin, whom she called her "third child". In letters to third parties, she vented her impatience, referring to him as a "child," a "little angel", a "sufferer" and a "beloved little corpse." In 1847 Sand published her novel Lucrezia Floriani, whose main characters—a rich actress and a prince in weak health—could be interpreted as Sand and Chopin; the story was uncomplimentary to Chopin, who could not have missed the allusions as he helped Sand correct the printer's galleys.
  • 1844
    Age 33
    Late in 1844, Charles Hallé visited Chopin and found him "hardly able to move, bent like a half-opened penknife and evidently in great pain", although his spirits returned when he started to play the piano for his visitor.
    More Details Hide Details Chopin's health continued to deteriorate, particularly from this time onwards. Modern research suggests that apart from any other illnesses, he may also have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy.
  • 1843
    Age 32
    He was forced by illness to decline a written invitation from Alkan to participate in a repeat performance of the Beethoven Seventh Symphony arrangement at Erard's on 1 March 1843.
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  • 1842
    Age 31
    From 1842 onwards, Chopin showed signs of serious illness.
    More Details Hide Details After a solo recital in Paris on 21 February 1842, he wrote to Grzymała: "I have to lie in bed all day long, my mouth and tonsils are aching so much."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1839
    Age 28
    During the summers at Nohant, particularly in the years 1839–43, Chopin found quiet, productive days during which he composed many works, including his Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53.
    More Details Hide Details Among the visitors to Nohant were Delacroix and the mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot, whom Chopin had advised on piano technique and composition. Delacroix gives an account of staying at Nohant in a letter of 7 June 1842: The hosts could not be more pleasant in entertaining me. When we are not all together at dinner, lunch, playing billiards, or walking, each of us stays in his room, reading or lounging around on a couch. Sometimes, through the window which opens on the garden, a gust of music wafts up from Chopin at work. All this mingles with the songs of nightingales and the fragrance of roses.
    At the funeral of the tenor Adolphe Nourrit in Paris in 1839, Chopin made a rare appearance at the organ, playing a transcription of Franz Schubert's lied Die Gestirne.
    More Details Hide Details On 26 July 1840 Chopin and Sand were present at the dress rehearsal of Berlioz's Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale, composed to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the July Revolution. Chopin was reportedly unimpressed with the composition.
  • 1838
    Age 27
    On his return to Paris, his association with Sand began in earnest, and by the end of June 1838 they had become lovers.
    More Details Hide Details Sand, who was six years older than the composer, and who had had a series of lovers, wrote at this time: "I must say I was confused and amazed at the effect this little creature had on me... I have still not recovered from my astonishment, and if I were a proud person I should be feeling humiliated at having been carried away " The two spent a miserable winter on Majorca (8 November 1838 to 13 February 1839), where, together with Sand's two children, they had journeyed in the hope of improving the health of Chopin and that of Sand's 15-year-old son Maurice, and also to escape the threats of Sand's former lover Félicien Mallefille. After discovering that the couple were not married, the deeply traditional Catholic people of Majorca became inhospitable, making accommodation difficult to find. This compelled the group to take lodgings in a former Carthusian monastery in Valldemossa, which gave little shelter from the cold winter weather.
    Sand, in a letter to Grzymała of June 1838, admitted strong feelings for the composer and debated whether to abandon a current affair in order to begin a relationship with Chopin; she asked Grzymała to assess Chopin's relationship with Maria Wodzińska, without realising that the affair, at least from Maria's side, was over.
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  • 1837
    Age 26
    In June 1837 Chopin visited London incognito in the company of the piano manufacturer Camille Pleyel where he played at a musical soirée at the house of English piano maker James Broadwood.
    More Details Hide Details
    Is she really a woman?" However, by early 1837 Maria Wodzińska's mother had made it clear to Chopin in correspondence that a marriage with her daughter was unlikely to proceed.
    More Details Hide Details It is thought that she was influenced by his poor health and possibly also by rumours about his associations with women such as d'Agoult and Sand. Chopin finally placed the letters from Maria and her mother in a package on which he wrote, in Polish, "My tragedy".
    After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska, from 1837 to 1847 he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer George Sand.
    More Details Hide Details A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 was one of his most productive periods of composition. In his last years, he was financially supported by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. Through most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health.
  • 1836
    Age 25
    In 1836, at a party hosted by Marie d'Agoult, Chopin met the French author George Sand (born Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin).
    More Details Hide Details Short (under five feet, or 152 cm), dark, big-eyed and a cigar smoker, she initially repelled Chopin, who remarked, "What an unattractive person la Sand is.
    At the end of 1836 he sent Maria an album in which his sister Ludwika had inscribed seven of his songs, and his 1835 Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1.
    More Details Hide Details
    In July 1836 Chopin travelled to Marienbad and Dresden to be with the Wodziński family, and in September he proposed to Maria, whose mother Countess Wodzińska approved in principle.
    More Details Hide Details Chopin went on to Leipzig, where he presented Schumann with his G minor Ballade.
  • 1835
    Age 24
    In 1835 Chopin went to Carlsbad, where he spent time with his parents; it was the last time he would see them.
    More Details Hide Details On his way back to Paris, he met old friends from Warsaw, the Wodzińskis. He had made the acquaintance of their daughter Maria in Poland five years earlier, when she was eleven. This meeting prompted him to stay for two weeks in Dresden, when he had previously intended to return to Paris via Leipzig. The sixteen-year-old girl's portrait of the composer is considered, along with Delacroix's, as among Chopin's best likenesses. In October he finally reached Leipzig, where he met Schumann, Clara Wieck and Felix Mendelssohn, who organised for him a performance of his own oratorio St. Paul, and who considered him "a perfect musician".
  • 1834
    Age 23
    In the spring of 1834, Chopin attended the Lower Rhenish Music Festival in Aix-la-Chapelle with Hiller, and it was there that Chopin met Felix Mendelssohn.
    More Details Hide Details After the festival, the three visited Düsseldorf, where Mendelssohn had been appointed musical director. They spent what Mendelssohn described as "a very agreeable day", playing and discussing music at his piano, and met Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow, director of the Academy of Art, and some of his eminent pupils such as Lessing, Bendemann, Hildebrandt and Sohn.
  • 1833
    Age 22
    Chopin's music soon found success with publishers, and in 1833 he contracted with Maurice Schlesinger, who arranged for it to be published not only in France but, through his family connections, also in Germany and England.
    More Details Hide Details
    Examples include a concert on 23 March 1833, in which Chopin, Liszt and Hiller performed (on pianos) a concerto by J.S. Bach for three keyboards; and, on 3 March 1838, a concert in which Chopin, his pupil Adolphe Gutmann, Charles-Valentin Alkan, and Alkan's teacher Joseph Zimmermann performed Alkan's arrangement, for eight hands, of two movements from Beethoven's 7th symphony.
    More Details Hide Details Chopin was also involved in the composition of Liszt's Hexameron; he wrote the sixth (and final) variation on Bellini's theme.
  • 1832
    Age 21
    Liszt was in attendance at Chopin's Parisian debut on 26 February 1832 at the Salle Pleyel, which led him to remark: "The most vigorous applause seemed not to suffice to our enthusiasm in the presence of this talented musician, who revealed a new phase of poetic sentiment combined with such happy innovation in the form of his art."
    More Details Hide Details The two became friends, and for many years lived in close proximity in Paris, Chopin at 38 Rue de la Chaussée-d'Antin, and Liszt at the Hôtel de France on the Rue Lafitte, a few blocks away. They performed together on seven occasions between 1833 and 1841. The first, on 2 April 1833, was at a benefit concert organized by Hector Berlioz for his bankrupt Shakespearean actress wife Harriet Smithson, during which they played George Onslow's Sonata in F minor for piano duet. Later joint appearances included a benefit concert for the Benevolent Association of Polish Ladies in Paris. Their last appearance together in public was for a charity concert conducted for the Beethoven Memorial in Bonn, held at the Salle Pleyel and the Paris Conservatory on 25 and 26 April 1841. Although the two displayed great respect and admiration for each other, their friendship was uneasy and had some qualities of a love-hate relationship. Harold C. Schonberg believes that Chopin displayed a "tinge of jealousy and spite" towards Liszt's virtuosity on the piano, and others have also argued that he had become enchanted with Liszt's theatricality, showmanship and success. Liszt was the dedicatee of Chopin's Op. 10 Études, and his performance of them prompted the composer to write to Hiller, "I should like to rob him of the way he plays my studies." However, Chopin expressed annoyance in 1843 when Liszt performed one of his nocturnes with the addition of numerous intricate embellishments, at which Chopin remarked that he should play the music as written or not play it at all, forcing an apology.
    He no longer depended financially upon his father, and in the winter of 1832 he began earning a handsome income from publishing his works and teaching piano to affluent students from all over Europe.
    More Details Hide Details This freed him from the strains of public concert-giving, which he disliked. Chopin seldom performed publicly in Paris. In later years he generally gave a single annual concert at the Salle Pleyel, a venue that seated three hundred. He played more frequently at salons, but preferred playing at his own Paris apartment for small groups of friends. The musicologist Arthur Hedley has observed that "As a pianist Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances—few more than thirty in the course of his lifetime." The list of musicians who took part in some of his concerts provides an indication of the richness of Parisian artistic life during this period.
    By the end of 1832 Chopin had established himself among the Parisian musical elite, and had earned the respect of his peers such as Hiller, Liszt, and Berlioz.
    More Details Hide Details
    On 26 February 1832 Chopin gave a debut Paris concert at the Salle Pleyel which drew universal admiration.
    More Details Hide Details The critic François-Joseph Fétis wrote in the Revue et gazette musicale: "Here is a young man who... taking no model, has found, if not a complete renewal of piano music,... an abundance of original ideas of a kind to be found nowhere else " After this concert, Chopin realized that his essentially intimate keyboard technique was not optimal for large concert spaces. Later that year he was introduced to the wealthy Rothschild banking family, whose patronage also opened doors for him to other private salons (social gatherings of the aristocracy and artistic and literary elite).
  • 1831
    Age 20
    At the end of 1831, Chopin received the first major endorsement from an outstanding contemporary when Robert Schumann, reviewing the Op. 2 Variations in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (his first published article on music), declared: "Hats off, gentlemen!
    More Details Hide Details A genius."
    Chopin arrived in Paris in late September 1831; he would never return to Poland, thus becoming one of many expatriates of the Polish Great Emigration.
    More Details Hide Details In France he used the French versions of his given names, and after receiving French citizenship in 1835, he travelled on a French passport. However, Chopin remained close to his fellow Poles in exile as friends and confidants and he never felt fully comfortable speaking French. Chopin's biographer Adam Zamoyski writes that he never considered himself to be French, despite his father's French origins, and always saw himself as a Pole. In Paris, Chopin encountered artists and other distinguished figures, and found many opportunities to exercise his talents and achieve celebrity. During his years in Paris he was to become acquainted with, among many others, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Ferdinand Hiller, Heinrich Heine, Eugène Delacroix, and Alfred de Vigny. Chopin was also acquainted with the poet Adam Mickiewicz, principal of the Polish Literary Society, some of whose verses he set as songs.
    When in September 1831 he learned, while travelling from Vienna to Paris, that the uprising had been crushed, he expressed his anguish in the pages of his private journal: "Oh God!...
    More Details Hide Details You are there, and yet you do not take vengeance!" Jachimecki ascribes to these events the composer's maturing "into an inspired national bard who intuited the past, present and future of his native Poland."
  • TEENAGE
  • 1830
    Age 19
    Chopin's successes as a composer and performer opened the door to western Europe for him, and on 2 November 1830, he set out, in the words of Zdzisław Jachimecki, "into the wide world, with no very clearly defined aim, forever."
    More Details Hide Details With Woyciechowski, he headed for Austria, intending to go on to Italy. Later that month, in Warsaw, the November 1830 Uprising broke out, and Woyciechowski returned to Poland to enlist. Chopin, now alone in Vienna, was nostalgic for his homeland, and wrote to a friend, "I curse the moment of my departure."
  • 1829
    Age 18
    He returned to Warsaw in September 1829, where he premiered his Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 on 17 March 1830.
    More Details Hide Details
    On an 1829 return trip to Berlin, he was a guest of Prince Antoni Radziwiłł, governor of the Grand Duchy of Posen—himself an accomplished composer and aspiring cellist.
    More Details Hide Details For the prince and his pianist daughter Wanda, he composed his Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major for cello and piano, Op. 3. Back in Warsaw that year, Chopin heard Niccolò Paganini play the violin, and composed a set of variations, Souvenir de Paganini. It may have been this experience which encouraged him to commence writing his first Études, (1829–32), exploring the capacities of his own instrument. On 11 August, three weeks after completing his studies at the Warsaw Conservatory, he made his debut in Vienna. He gave two piano concerts and received many favourable reviews—in addition to some commenting (in Chopin's own words) that he was "too delicate for those accustomed to the piano-bashing of local artists". In one of these concerts, he premiered his Variations on Là ci darem la mano, Op. 2 (variations on an aria from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni) for piano and orchestra.
  • 1828
    Age 17
    In September 1828 Chopin, while still a student, visited Berlin with a family friend, zoologist Feliks Jarocki, enjoying operas directed by Gaspare Spontini and attending concerts by Carl Friedrich Zelter, Felix Mendelssohn and other celebrities.
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  • 1827
    Age 16
    In 1827, soon after the death of Chopin's youngest sister Emilia, the family moved from the Warsaw University building, adjacent to the Kazimierz Palace, to lodgings just across the street from the university, in the south annex of the Krasiński Palace on Krakowskie Przedmieście, where Chopin lived until he left Warsaw in 1830.
    More Details Hide Details Here his parents continued running their boarding house for male students; the Chopin Family Parlour (Salonik Chopinów) became a museum in the 20th century. In 1829 the artist Ambroży Mieroszewski executed a set of portraits of Chopin family members, including the first known portrait of the composer. Four boarders at his parents' apartments became Chopin's intimates: Tytus Woyciechowski, Jan Nepomucen Białobłocki, Jan Matuszyński and Julian Fontana; the latter two would become part of his Paris milieu. He was friendly with members of Warsaw's young artistic and intellectual world, including Fontana, Józef Bohdan Zaleski and Stefan Witwicki. He was also attracted to the singing student Konstancja Gładkowska. In letters to Woyciechowski, he indicated which of his works, and even which of their passages, were influenced by his fascination with her; his letter of 15 May 1830 revealed that the slow movement (Larghetto) of his Piano Concerto No. 1 (in E minor) was secretly dedicated to her – "It should be like dreaming in beautiful springtime – by moonlight." His final Conservatory report (July 1829) read: "Chopin F., third-year student, exceptional talent, musical genius."
  • 1825
    Age 14
    He was engaged by the inventors of a mechanical organ, the "eolomelodicon", and on this instrument in May 1825 he performed his own improvisation and part of a concerto by Moscheles.
    More Details Hide Details The success of this concert led to an invitation to give a similar recital on the instrument before Tsar Alexander I, who was visiting Warsaw; the Tsar presented him with a diamond ring. At a subsequent eolomelodicon concert on 10 June 1825, Chopin performed his Rondo Op. 1. This was the first of his works to be commercially published and earned him his first mention in the foreign press, when the Leipzig Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung praised his "wealth of musical ideas".
  • 1824
    Age 13
    In 1824 and 1825, at Szafarnia, he was a guest of Dominik Dziewanowski, the father of a schoolmate.
    More Details Hide Details Here for the first time he encountered Polish rural folk music. His letters home from Szafarnia (to which he gave the title "The Szafarnia Courier"), written in a very modern and lively Polish, amused his family with their spoofing of the Warsaw newspapers and demonstrated the youngster's literary gift.
    During 1824–28 Chopin spent his vacations away from Warsaw, at a number of locales.
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  • 1823
    Age 12
    From September 1823 to 1826, Chopin attended the Warsaw Lyceum, where he received organ lessons from the Czech musician Wilhelm Würfel during his first year.
    More Details Hide Details In the autumn of 1826 he began a three-year course under the Silesian composer Józef Elsner at the Warsaw Conservatory, studying music theory, figured bass and composition. Throughout this period he continued to compose and to give recitals in concerts and salons in Warsaw.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1821
    Age 10
    His next work, a polonaise in A-flat major of 1821, dedicated to Żywny, is his earliest surviving musical manuscript.
    More Details Hide Details In 1817 the Saxon Palace was requisitioned by Warsaw's Russian governor for military use, and the Warsaw Lyceum was reestablished in the Kazimierz Palace (today the rectorate of Warsaw University). Fryderyk and his family moved to a building, which still survives, adjacent to the Kazimierz Palace. During this period, Fryderyk was sometimes invited to the Belweder Palace as playmate to the son of the ruler of Russian Poland, Grand Duke Constantine; he played the piano for the Duke and composed a march for him. Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, in his dramatic eclogue, "Nasze Przebiegi" ("Our Discourses", 1818), attested to "little Chopin's" popularity.
  • 1817
    Age 6
    By the age of seven Fryderyk had begun giving public concerts, and in 1817 he composed two polonaises, in G minor and B-flat major.
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  • 1816
    Age 5
    Fryderyk may have had some piano instruction from his mother, but his first professional music tutor, from 1816 to 1821, was the Czech pianist Wojciech Żywny.
    More Details Hide Details His elder sister Ludwika also took lessons from Żywny, and occasionally played duets with her brother. It quickly became apparent that he was a child prodigy.
  • 1810
    Born
    In October 1810, six months after Fryderyk's birth, the family moved to Warsaw, where his father acquired a post teaching French at the Warsaw Lyceum, then housed in the Saxon Palace.
    More Details Hide Details Fryderyk lived with his family in the Palace grounds. The father played the flute and violin; the mother played the piano and gave lessons to boys in the boarding house that the Chopins kept. Chopin was of slight build, and even in early childhood was prone to illnesses.
    Fryderyk was baptized on Easter Sunday, 23 April 1810, in the same church where his parents had married, in Brochów.
    More Details Hide Details His eighteen-year-old godfather, for whom he was named, was Fryderyk Skarbek, a pupil of Nicolas Chopin. Fryderyk was the couple's second child and only son; he had an elder sister, Ludwika (1807–55), and two younger sisters, Izabela (1811–81) and Emilia (1812–27). Nicolas was devoted to his adopted homeland, and insisted on the use of the Polish language in the household.
    The parish baptismal record gives his birthday as 22 February 1810, and cites his given names in the Latin form Fridericus Franciscus (in Polish, he was Fryderyk Franciszek).
    More Details Hide Details However, the composer and his family used the birthdate 1 March, which is now generally accepted as the correct date.
  • OTHER
  • 1787
    Age -24
    Fryderyk's father, Nicolas Chopin, was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to Poland in 1787 at the age of sixteen. Nicolas tutored children of the Polish aristocracy, and in 1806 married Justyna Krzyżanowska, a poor relative of the Skarbeks, one of the families for whom he worked.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1017
    Age -794
    Born in 1017.
    More Details Hide Details
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