ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Chopin Biography

Updated on January 20, 2012

This hub is a brief biography of one of the greatest piano composers ever. Chopin's piano music is recognized, loved, admired and played all over the world and certainly will be for the foreseeable future. Read on to learn the basic facts of his life and watch and listen to some great performances of his works along the way.

Parents and birth

Frederic Chopin was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1810 to a Polish mother and French father. A musical prodigy from a young age, his teacher in Warsaw, Wojciech Zywny, did not teach him much, but he did introduce him to the works of the great composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Early career and flight to France

Chopin's natural talents gained him acceptance to the High School of Music in Warsaw, where he studied musical composition. While he loved Warsaw, he longed to live in a more sophisticated European city such as Vienna or Paris. He set off on a tour of Europe one week later, when he was in Vienna heard that the Poles had risen up in rebellion against the Russian government then in power. The Poles lost their valiant struggling, making it impossible for the young nationalist to return home safely. He headed on to Paris, which was now flooding with Polish refuges and immediately found his feet in his new home.


Piano Concerto No 2

In Paris

He began to rub shoulders with talented musicians and composers like Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz, and thanks to the assistance of the popular pianist Frederic Kalkbrenner he was able to give his first concert in Paris in 1832. His talent helped his reputation grow and he earned a good living amongst the French aristocracy through composing, performing and teaching pupils.


Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor

Chopin and George Sand

Chopin eventually fell in love with the novelist George Sand (whose real name was Amandine Aurore Lucille Dupin), whom he met in 1836 but was less than impressed by. But by 1838 they were in the throes of a torrid love affair, and ran off to the island of Majorca, owned by Spain, in order to try to help Chopin recover his health. However, their accommodations were bitterly cold that winter and the doctors of no use

As the 1840s arrived, Chopin was still composing but his health was getting worse. The couple separated in 1846, for reasons we can only guess at in her autobiographical novel Lucrezia Floriani, which contains a very unflattering depiction of a sickly hero..


The final years

Chopin traveled to London and north to Scotland on tour and met with great admiration. But his death was imminent and so he returned to Paris, where his friend, the mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot, commented that every woman who went into his room fainted because they were so devastated at the thought of losing so great a pianist. Chopin died on the 17th of October 1849 with several friends, including one of his pupils, Adolphe Gutman, and George Sand's daughter Solange, at his bedside.

He was buried at the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, but in accordance with his own last wishes, the heart was taken out of his body and smuggled to Warsaw, where it has been kept since inside a pillar in the Church of the Holy Cross. 


"Funeral March" from Sonata in B flat minor

Your comments!

What do you want to add to this short summary of Chopin's life? A few words about why you love his music, comments on the performances, or any other thoughts you may have on the subject are warmly welcome in the comments section below!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jamila sahar profile image

      jamila sahar 

      6 years ago

      What a beautiful synopsis of one of the most fascinating and mysterious composer/pianist that has ever lived. Chopin along with Granados is considered the poet of the piano. He wrote almost exclusively for this instrument and understood how to create the most evocative music on the piano. I am currently working on Opus 35, which I find to be an incredible masterpiece and work of art. The way the movements flow together and in and out of one another I find it to be a narrative of perhaps his own life story told through music. From the stormy first movement to the fiery scherzo which does not end in a bravura fashion as all his other scherzo's but instead flows into the Marche, which then ends with one of the most enigmatic pieces of music, the finale,in which he stated 'the right hand and left hand are gossiping after the Marche'

      I look forward to reading more hubs from my favorite website

      jamila

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Very informative Hub - Chopin is one of my 4 favorite composers....

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent hub, as usual! By the way, I never knew about Chopins relationship with George Sand.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)