Frédéric François Chopin, born March 1, 1810, was a Polish pianist and composer, based in France during the Romantic period of piano music. He is known as one of the greatest piano composers and one of the most important pianists in history. His refined technique and harmonic elaboration have been historically compared with those of other great composers, such as Mozart and Beethoven, as well as his lasting influence on music to this day. We’ll help you celebrate his special day right here.
Frédéric François Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, a village near Sochaczew, in the region of Mazovia, which is part of the Duchy of Warsaw. In October 1810, when he was seven months old, his family moved to Warsaw, where his father took up the position of a teacher of French language and literature at a school situated in the Saxon Palace. Young Chopin received his first piano lessons from his older sister, Ludwika, and was later taught by his mother. His musical talent soon emerged, earning him a reputation in Warsaw as ‘the second Mozart.’ At the age of seven, he was already the author of two Poles; the first was published in the engraving studio of Father Cybulski, director of a school of organists and one of the few music publishers in Poland. The prodigy was featured in Warsaw’s newspapers, and ‘little Chopin’ became an attraction in the capital’s aristocratic salons, where he also began giving public concerts for charity. He first appeared in public as a pianist at the age of eight.
On 2 November 1830, Chopin left Warsaw to give concerts in Western Europe, and he never returned to Poland. At the end of that month, the November Rising broke out and his traveling company Titus Woyciechowski returned home to participate. Chopin remained in Vienna, while concerned for his loved ones who remained in Poland. He then visited Munich and Stuttgart, and in September 1831 he arrived in Paris, although his original destination had been Italy. He had already produced a portfolio of important compositions, including his two piano concertos and some of his Op.10 studies. In Paris, Chopin was greeted by eminent Polish exiles and was introduced to some of the leading pianists of the time. During his years in Paris, Chopin participated in several concerts. He also participated in the composition of the Hexameron (1837) – the sixth (and final) variation on the Bellini theme by Chopin.
In 1848, Chopin gave his last concert in Paris, as well as visited England and Scotland with his student and admirer Jane Stirling. They arrived in London in November and managed to give some concerts and ballroom performances. He returned to Paris, where, in 1849, he became unable to teach and perform due to his chronic lung disease. His sister Ludwika, who had given him his first piano lessons, took care of him and in the early hours of October 17, Chopin died.
At just four years old, Chopin starts playing the piano.
After his father died, at just seven years old, Chopin composes his first work, ‘La Polonesa.’
At just eight years old, Chopin presents his first concert.
In 1831, Chopin moves to Paris, where he improves as a pianist and composer, and starts to give better performances at his concerts.
In 1848, Chopin performs his last show in Paris, which would be one of the best shows of his life.
Why We Love Frederic Chopin
Chopin tells stories through music
Through music, he evokes different emotions. You hear magical effects and a progression that forms the outline of a tale. It is possible to create a story through the countless mood swings in the pieces.
Every concert is different
There are many aspects of Chopin’s music that attract different people. Depending on who plays his works, unique touches are added, so his compositions provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
He gave us great masterpieces
The four Ballades are considered the greatest masterpieces of Romantic period piano music. They are original and beautiful. Nothing beats them in the way the music leads the listener through a series of emotions that tell stories.
5 Surprising Facts
The true meaning of ‘Minute Waltz’
In the work ‘Minute Waltz’, ‘minute’ does not mean small but rather refers to the unit of measurement of time.
His partner George Sand
Chopin and George Sand were partners for 10 years and she was 32 when she met him while he was 26.
His favorite piano maker
Chopin’s favorite piano maker was Pleyel, and when he was recovering from tuberculosis in Spain he took his piano with him.
The piano professor
While living in Paris, Chopin taught rich people, but as he was very modest and shy, he asked his students to leave the money on his fireplace.
Piano in the dark
Chopin would always blow out the candles in the room before playing and even when he played at an event or party, he would ask for the lights to be turned off in the room, as he was shy.
Frederic Chopin FAQs
What is Frédéric Chopin best known for?
Chopin is famous for his expressive piano playing and the innovative works he composed.
Who is the best Frédéric Chopin interpreter?
The Polish-American pianist Artur Rubinstein is considered by many to be the greatest Chopin interpreter of all time.
What was Frédéric Chopin’s most famous piece?
‘Nocturne’ in B flat minor and E flat, from his ‘Nocturnes Op.9.’
Frederic Chopin’s birthday dates