Frederic Chopin Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1810 – 1849 *** Full Name: Frederic François Chopin *** Occupation Polish Composer and Virtuoso Pianist *** Date of Birth: Frederic Chopin was born on March 1st 1810 *** Place of Birth: Frederic Chopin was born in Zelazowa Wola in the Duchy of Warsaw *** Family background: His father was Nicolas Chopin who was a Frenchman originally from Lorraine and who had emigrated in 1787 to Poland at just sixteen years of age. His father worked as a tutor for the Polish aristocracy. Frederic Chopin met his future wife who was a relation of one of his clients but a less financially stable relative, Justyna Krzyzanowska. His father was a violinist and flute player while his mother played and taught the piano to the boys from the boarding school *** Early life and childhood: Frederic Chopin grew up with three sisters, one older, Ludwika and two younger, Izabela and Emilia. When Frederic was barely six months old the family moved to Warsaw when his father retained a position teaching at the Warsaw Lyceum *** Education: Frederic Chopin was educated at the Warsaw Lyceum before attending the Warsaw Conservatory where he studied music theory, figured bass and composition ***
Frederic Chopin Fact 1: Frederic Chopin was born on March 1st 1810 and during the 19th century period in history when significant developments were made in biology, science, physics, medicine and technology.
Frederic Chopin Fact 2: His first unofficial engagement came in May of 1825 on a new machine called an eolomelodicon on which he played part of a concerto by Moscheles and with his own improvisation on it too.
Frederic Chopin Fact 3: So successful was his performance that Frederic Chopin was asked to perform for the Tsar Alexander I and so pleased with his performance he gifted him a diamond ring.
Frederic Chopin Fact 4: After the very sad death of his younger sister Emilia, the family moved home, although not far, and they continued operating their boarding house.
Frederic Chopin Fact 5: Tytus Woyciechowski, Jan Matuszynski, Julian Fontana and Jan Nepomucen Bialoblocki, were all boarders at his parent’s house and would become his firm friends.
Frederic Chopin Fact 6: Frederic Chopin would collect many friends as he mixed with the musical community.
Frederic Chopin Fact 7: In late 1828 Frederic Chopin travelled to Berlin and would return the following year where he composed his Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major for cello and piano, Op. 3 for as he was a guest of the Prince Antoni Radziwill.
Frederic Chopin Fact 8: As his success grew so did his reputation further afield. Together with Woyciechowski they traveled to Austria intending to go on to Italy but the November 1830 Uprising broke out in Warsaw and his friend returned leaving Chopin alone in Vienna.
Frederic Chopin Fact 9: By late 1831 Frederic Chopin headed for Paris when by 1835 he had decided to become a French citizen and never returned home to Poland again.
Frederic Chopin Fact 10: While in Paris he made many more friends including such as Hector Berlioz, Ferdinand Hiller, Franz Liszt and the poet Adam Mickiewicz.
Frederic Chopin Fact 11: Frederic Chopin was referred to in the Revue et gazette musicale by critic François-Joseph Fetis "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 ..."
Frederic Chopin Fact 12: By late 1832 Frederic Chopin was largely established within the musical community in Paris and had become widely respected.
Frederic Chopin Fact 13: Although he had relied on financial assistance from his father, by the end of 1832, as he began to publish his own work his financial status improved and he no longer had to rely on outside help. Frederic Chopin also bolstered his income by giving piano lessons.
Frederic Chopin Fact 14: Arthur Hedley, a musicologist said of him "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.".
Frederic Chopin Fact 15: Having made the acquaintance of George Sand, a French author, a couple of years previously, he began an affair with Sand after a brief visit to England he began an affair with Sand. Due to his ill health they travelled around Europe in the hopes of improving his health but it was not to happen.
Frederic Chopin Fact 16: By 1842 they were living next to each other in adjoining buildings but maintaining their independence.Frederic Chopin Fact 17: In the summers that he and Sand’s spent at her home in Nohant, Chopin found his time spent there relatively productive, it was quiet and he achieved much.
Frederic Chopin Fact 18: From 1842 onwards Chopin’s health went into a noticeable decline. In 1844 Chopin was visited by Charles Halle who remarked he was "hardly able to move, bent like a half-opened penknife and evidently in great pain".
Frederic Chopin Fact 19: Mainly due to his poor health, Chopin would end his nine year relationship with Sand.
Frederic Chopin Fact 20: On October 17th 1849 Frederic François Chopin died in his sleep in Paris with his sister, her family and a couple of friends present. His body was laid to rest at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Influence and Legacy: As a composer his legacy lives on in his work and has helped encourage other musicians to follow in his footsteps.
Short Facts about Frederic Chopin for Kids
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