Born in 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, Poland, died in 1849 in Paris, France.
Frédéric Chopin was born on March 1 1810 in Zelazowa Wola in Masovia, the duchy of Warsaw. His father Nicolas was a Frenchman who had moved to Poland in 1787. Frédéric’s mother, Justyna Krzyzanowska was a distant cousin of a countess. Chopin, who had already played the piano with his mother, received his first official piano lessons in 1816; a year later he composed his first piece, a polonaise. In 1822 Chopin completed his piano lessons but started taking lessons in composition and organ. During a stay in 1829 in Vienna Chopin performed twice at the Kärntnerthor theater, 1830 saw his first concert at the Warsaw national theater.
In October of the same year Chopin traveled to Vienna again, when, after the outbreak of the Polish November Uprising, his family and friends advised him against a return to Poland. In September 1831 Chopin finally arrived in Paris where he could perform his first concert a year later. The press was enthusiastic about what they called the "rebirth of piano music". Clara Wieck, already a well-known pianist, performed his “Variations“ in Leipzig, her husband Robert Schumann commented the work with the words: "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!" On December 15th 1833 Chopin performed together with Franz Liszt and Ferdinand Hiller at the Paris conservatoire.
Chopin visited Dresden in September 1836, where he fell in love with the 17-year-old Maria Wodzinska. Her parents only accepted his proposal under the condition that he would change his lifestyle and look after his weak health in the course of the next year, but only a few months later the Wodzinski family broke the engagement, much to the young artist’s grief.
George Sand (1804-1876), the already well-known novelist, Chopin had met in Paris. At first he disliked her but this must have changed as in May 1838 the two met again and traveled together to Mallorca in October. They stayed until February and became lovers. As a result of the humid climate and the cold season, Chopin’s health got worse and they had to return to Paris. Difficult but also very creative years had passed, when, after a violent quarrel in 1847 between George Sand and her daughter Solange, Chopin taking the side of Solange, they ended their relationship.
On February 16th 1848 Chopin performed his last concert in Paris. The reviews were enthusiastic. From April to November Chopin traveled around England and Scotland to avoid the revolutionary riots of 1848, performing and giving lessons. In London he performed for the last time in front of an audience. After two pulmonary hemorrhages a doctor diagnosed the final stage of the tuberculosis. Chopin returned to Paris and died there on October 17 1849, his body was buried at the Père Lachaise cemetery but according to his last will Chopin’s heart was taken to Warsaw.