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Chopin, Frederic Francois (Fryderyk Franciszek Szopen)

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Born: 1810 AD
Died: 1849 AD, at 39 years of age.

Nationality: Polish
Categories: Composers, Pianists

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1810 - Born on March 1st in Zelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, Duchy of Warsaw now in Poland. Polish-French composer and pianist of the Romantic period, best known for his solo pieces for piano and his piano concerti.

1817 - At seven he wrote a Polonaise in G Minor, which was printed, and soon afterward a march of his appealed to the Russian grand duke Constantine, who had it scored for his military band to play on parade.

1818 - Chopin found himself invited at an early age to play at private soirées, and at eight he made his first public appearance at a public charity concert.

         - He performed in the presence of the Russian tsar Alexander I, who was in Warsaw to open Parliament. Playing was not alone responsible for his growing reputation as a child prodigy.

1826 - His family enrolled him at the newly formed Warsaw Conservatory of Music. This school was directed by the Polish composer Joseph Elsner, with whom Chopin already had been studying musical theory.

1828-1829 - After a preliminary expedition to Berlin, Chopin visited Vienna and made his performance debut there.

         - A second concert confirmed his success, and on his return home he prepared himself for further achievements abroad by writing his Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor and his Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, as well as other works for piano and orchestra designed to exploit his brilliantly original piano style.

1830 - He presented his new works to the Warsaw public and then left Poland with the intention of visiting Germany and Italy for further study.

1831 - His new piano works at this time included two startlingly poetic books of études, the Ballade in G Minor, the Fantaisie-Impromptu, and many smaller pieces, among them mazurkas and polonaises inspired by Chopin's strong nationalist feeling.

1832 - After his Paris concert debut in February, Chopin realized that his extreme delicacy at the keyboard was not to everyone's taste in larger concert spaces.

1836 - He met for the first time the free-living novelist Aurore Dudevant, better known as George Sand. She fell in love with him and offered to become his mistress.

1839 - Chopin was sufficiently recovered from tubercolosis, after just under three months for them to start planning a return to Paris.

1840-1846 - Chopin produced much of his most searching music at Nohant, not only miniatures but also extended works, such as the Fantaisie in F Minor, the Barcarolle, the Polonaise-Fantaisie, the Ballade in A-flat Major and Ballade in F Minor, and the Sonata in B Minor.

1848 - His health was deteriorating rapidly, and he made his last public appearance on a concert platform at the Guildhall in London on November 16th.
 
1849 - Died on October 17th in Paris, France.

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Page last updated: 8:49pm, 20th Jun '07