Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)

Chopin Image
One of Poland's greatest and most remembered musicians of Polish descent, Fryderyk Chopin, was born in Zelazowa Wola, Poland, near Warsaw. According to some, Chopin was born on March 1, 1810. However, his baptismal certificate, written several weeks after his birth, lists his birthdate as February 22, 1810. His father, Nicholas Chopin, came to Poland to secure a position teaching French. He met and married Justyna Krzyzanowska. Together in the city of Warsaw, Poland, they raised their son Fryderyk along with their three daughters.

At the young age of 7, much like that of Mozart, Chopin had already amazed people with his musical abilities. Chopin departed for Vienna at age 20 to continue his studies, compose and share his talents with composers of his time. By age 21, Chopin reached Paris and became friends with Berlioz, Liszt and Mendelssohn.

Despite his premature death in 1849, Chopin's music touched the hearts of many throughout the years of his life and continues, even today, to be admired by musicians and music lovers alike. Chopin is most noted for his unique approach to the piano, creating sounds unheard before his time.

Today amongst the masters of great musicians, the name Fryderyk Chopin is remembered not only as the greatest of Polish composers, but also as a great representative of Polish culture.

Chopin died on October 17, 1849. His body was laid in a tomb in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in France. In accordance with his wishes, the heart of this great composer was taken to Warsaw, Poland and enshrined into the wall of the burial nave of the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw where thousands of people come each year to remember him and his outstanding musical talents. Tourists can also visit Chopin's home in Zelazowa Wola, Poland, where from his garden one can still hear Chopin's music being played for visitors on a piano in his house by talented musicians.

You can learn more about Fryderyk Chopin when you visit the Polish American Cultural Center Museum at 308 Walnut Street in historic Philadelphia, PA.

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