Frédéric Chopin was Polish and a music composer and pianist of the Romantic era (around 1830). He was born in 1810 and grew up in Warsaw, Poland, and then moved to Paris for his adult life. Here are 9 illustrated facts (print available here) you may not know about the legendary Chopin.
Chopin played the piano in the dark
Fryderyk Chopin only gave around thirty public performances, mostly because he was shy and loved the intimacy of the salon.
Chopin played the piano in the dark throughout his entire life. He would always put out the candles in the room, and even when playing at an event or party, he would ask to extinguish the light in the room.
Chopin's Piano stopped at Spanish customs
Chopin’s favorite piano maker was Pleyel (French builders). When he and Georges Sand went to stay on Majorca island in Valldemossa for Chopin to recuperate from his tuberculosis, his piano was to go with him.
However, it took such a long time to get through the Spanish customs, he had to work with a local piano – but he still managed to compose some of his most famous pieces on it.
Unpleasant love at first sight.
When Chopin was first introduced to George Sand at Liszt’s house in the autumn of 1836, he exclaimed ‘what an unpleasant woman’. Clearly, he eventually changed his view as they became lovers not long after.
Chopin passed away in France.
As death approached, Chopin lay in his bed surrounded by a group of friends and admirers for some days. As the time got close, Chopin asked the young Countess de Potoska who had been tending him, to sing the national anthem of Poland, their country; Jeszcze Polka nie zginela (‘No – Poland is not lost’). He breathed his last as she finished.
Chopin's Heart is in Poland
Chopin died on October 17th, 1849, at the young age of 39, most likely from tuberculosis.
His heart was removed from his body after his death and remains preserved in Poland. He is buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Coming to "Pianopolis" Paris
In 1830, Paris was called "Pianopolis », the ultimate place for a piano player. "Pleyel" was a very trendy piano maker in need of a brilliant and renowned artist. Chopin was designed as the best Pleyel Ambassador.
Fryderyk Chopin, a child star !
Chopin was a child star; he was writing and composing poetry at age 6 and performed his first public concerto at age 8.
By the time he was 12, Chopin had already performed in the drawing rooms of countless Polish aristocrats and created original compositions.
He inherited the music genes from his parents, his mother was a piano teacher, and his father was a flute and violin expert.
Chopin, The romantic
Frédéric Chopin represents the romantic classical music: mysterious, haunting and delicate. The piano remains the instrument par excellence for expressing the poetry of this melancholy and cheerful music, both alive and vibrant, which evokes the density of the human soul.
A genius composer and piano virtuoso, Frédéric Chopin's music remain a symbol of romantic music forever.
Chopin Health issues
From childhood, Frédéric Chopin was sickly and under medical care.
Chronic coughs and hemoptysis are common symptoms of tuberculosis, the probable reason for his premature death at age 39.