Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)

How to say the name:

‘Chopin’ is said like Show-pan. ‘Frédéric is said like ‘Fre-der-ric’.

Born:

1st March 1810 (or possibly 22nd February—see below) in Żelazowa Wola (near Warsaw), Poland.

Chopin’s grave in Paris

Died:

17th October 1849 in Paris, France.

Buried:

Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (although his heart is buried in Holy Cross Church, Warsaw).

Type of Music:

Classical music from the romantic period.

some famous pieces:
  • ‘Minute Waltz’ (Waltz in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1)
  • Funeral March (third movement from the Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35)
Some great pieces:
  • Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2.
  • Études Op.10 and Op. 25. (See below for a video.)
  • Berceuse.
  • Plus many waltzes, mazurkas, polonaises and nocturnes. (See below for a video of one well-known nocturne.)
Some interesting facts:
  • He started composing when he was only 7 years old!
  • He played the piano for the Tzar (like a king) of Russia when he was 15. The Tzar liked it so much that he gave Chopin a diamond ring.
  • Most of his music is written for the piano.
  • His piano music was so new that he needed to write his own piano exercises to help him learn how to play it! These exercise are his Études.
  • Much of Chopin’s music is very beautiful (see, for example, the first video below). However it can also be very angry as well (see, for example, the first video below).

Here is a video of Chopin’s Nocture Op. 9 No. 2.

Chopin’s Nocture Op. 9, No. 2

And here is a video of Chopin’s Étude Op. 10, No. 12, sometimes known as The Revolutionary Étude. This is a very angry piece. It expresses how Chopin felt about what had just happened in his homeland of Poland. At that time Russia ruled Poland. However the Polish people had just tried to get rid of their Russian rulers. But they failed. And this is why Chopin was so angry.

Chopin’s Étude Op. 10, No. 12

Picture credits:
  1. Frédéric Chopin. This is a photograph by Louis-Auguste Bisson. It is the only known photograph of Chopin. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Chopin’s grave in Paris. This photograph can be used for any purpose. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Yundi Li plays Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2. Yundi Plays Chopin!
  2. Freddy Kempf – Chopin, Etude Op.10 No. 12. Freddy Kempf is an English pianist, born in 1977 in London to a German father and a Japanese mother. Having resided in London for many years and studying at the Royal Academy of Music, he now lives in Berlin. There is a lot more information about Freddy Kempf on the video’s YouTube page.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ramona 24th June 2012

A very good, great performance !I am also playing piano
working on the sight reading but able to do opus 10#3 from
sheet music “Simply classics” 14303 in a respectable way.
Classical music will live forever, and I feel you are a part of
a great tradition of pianists who will keep the classics going
for a long time. Great work !

2 Beatrice 8th May 2013

wow! i’m in level 7, piano, but i am still blown away by this performance!!! Great job!!!

3 Bryan 7th September 2013

One of the greatest Romantic virtuosos ever! I love him but he was young when he died at age 39. Love his polonaises and nocturnes!!! 🙂

4 Niall Horan 16th June 2014

This guy is fabulous I wish that I could play that well.

5 Justice smith 23rd October 2014

This is cool

6 elizabeth 31st March 2015

Just informing you that he was born on the 1st of March 1810 not 22nd of feb!!!!

7 Malcolm Pullan 1st April 2015

Thank you for your comment Elizabeth. It seems there is some confusion about when Chopin was actually born. For example, the website http://www.ourchopin.com/biography.html says that Chopin “was born on 1 March 1810, according to the statements of the artist himself and his family, but according to his baptismal certificate, which was written several weeks after his birth, the date was 22 February.” So who knows what the truth is!!

8 mike pollack 30th December 2015

He is gone, BUT, his music lives on forever.

9 Tyler Farrow 3rd February 2016

This guy is awesome!!!!

10 bryan 4th April 2016

i like this guy…

11 Joe 25th September 2016

Cool!

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