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Chopin, a summary; from a TQP level 9 workbook.

Chopin was born in a small village called Zelazowa Wola in the Duchy on Warsaw. His father was an immigrant from France called Nicholas and his mother was Justyna Krzyzanowska. His father occupation as a teacher allowed Chopin access to the cultured communities of Warsaw and his mother introduced him to music at an early age.

This was an ideal start for the child who at six years old was playing the piano and composing tunes. A tutor was found but the student soon surpassed the teacher in technical and imagination skills.

At eight years old the young composer was performing in elegant salons and composing his own music, notably the Polonaise in G minor.

In 1826 he enrolled in the Warsaw Conservatory of Music where he studied for three years under Josef Elsner. In 1829 he made his debut appearance in Vienna where the audience was enthralled by his technical ability and poetic performances. He continued to perform in Poland, Germany, Austria and Paris where he settled in 1832.

In Paris he met the young Liszt, Bellini and Mendelssohn; Robert Schumann and his wife promoted his works. Whilst he had had a number of relationships of youth and been engaged there had not been anything lasting. Then in 1838 he met a novelist Amantine Dupin, aka George Sand, with whom he stayed until 1848 when a novel said to portray their relationship was published. Chopin was broken in spirit and health. His last public performance was on 17th November 1848 and he passed away on 17th October 1849. He is buried in France but his heart was interred at a church in Warsaw, in the land of his birth.


Chris Caton-Greasley LLCM(TD) MA (Mus)(Open)

Ethnographic Musicologist, Teacher, Researcher

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