Frederic Francois Chopin was a 19th century Polish composer and virtuoso pianist who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He was a poetic genius and one of music’s earliest superstars. He was blessed with a professional technique that was unparalleled in his generation. He was a child prodigy and had started giving public concerts by the age of seven .He left for Vienna a month before the November 1830 . By this time he had already completed his musical education and had composed many works in Warsaw. Eventually he settled in Paris and obtained French citizenship. Primarily he earned his living by selling his compositions and teaching piano. His piano compositions were very popular and included sonatas, mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, études, impromptus, scherzos, and preludes. He mostly preferred to perform in salons and gave just 30 public performances in the last 18 years of his life. Frederic’s health remained an area of concern throughout his life and took a severe toll on his productivity. After several years of indifferent health he finally succumbed to tuberculosis and passed away in Paris. His pupil and admirer, Jane Stirling, supported him financially in the last years of his life.

Here’s a timeline of his life and career:

Childhood & Early Life

    • Frederic Chopin was born as Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin near Warsaw, Poland. 
    • Frederic received some piano instructions from his mother, and later studied piano from Wojciech Zywny, and harmony and counterpoint from Jozef Elsner.
    • The ruler of Russian Poland, Grand Duke Constantine often invited him as a playmate for his son. He played the piano and also composed a march for the Duke’s army.
    • Frederic Chopin gave his first public concert at the age of seven and was compared to the legendary composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He also composed two polonaises the same year, one in G minor and the other in B-flat major.


  • In 1821, Frederic Chopin composed a polonaise in A-flat major. He dedicated this to his tutor Zywny. The composition is his earliest surviving manuscript.
  • He attended the Warsaw Lyceum from September 1823 to 1826 and the Czech musician Wilhelm Wurfel gave him organ lessons in the first year.
  • In 1826, he began a three-year course under the Silesian composer, Josef Elsner, at the Warsaw Conservatory. He studied music theory, figured bass and composition.
  • On August 11, 1829 he made his debut in Vienna with two piano concerts with favourable reviews. In one of these concerts, he premiered his ‘Variations on La ci darem la mano, Op. 2’ for piano and orchestra.
  • He reached Paris in September 1831 and never returned to Poland. In 1835 he received his French citizenship and he travelled on his French passport. But he never felt comfortable in speaking French and always considered himself a Pole.
  • In pursuit of inspiration and learning, he became acquainted with Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Ferdinand Hiller, Heinrich Heine, Eugene Delacroix, Alfred de Vigny and Adam Mickiewicz.
  • On February 26, 1832, he gave his debut concert in Paris at Salle Pleyel. With the help of the wealthy Rothschild banking family he got the chance to perform at other private salons. These performances earned him respect from his peers and established him amongst the Parisian musical elite.
  • Chopin’s music soon found success with publishers, and in 1833 he contracted with Maurice Schlesinger, who arranged for his works to be published in France, Germany and England.
  • Over a period of time, Chopin’s output as a composer declined in quantity year by year. In 1841 he had written a dozen works, though only six were written in 1842, followed by six shorter pieces in 1843.
  • His health started deteriorating from 1842 and he had to decline several invitations for concerts. Modern research suggests he might have suffered from ‘temporal lobe epilepsy’.
  • In February 1848, he gave his last Paris concert including three movements of the Cello Sonata Op. 65, with the cellist Auguste Franchomme.
  • Frederic Chopin died on October 17, 1849 at the age of 39. 



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