Composer Corner: Chopin

March’s composer of the month is Frédéric Chopin.

 

Born: March 1, 1810

Died: Oct. 17, 1849

 

Five facts:

• Chopin was already composing at age six, and performed his first concerto at age eight.
• As a child, he would play in the dark, blowing out the candles before sitting down to play. Even later in life, when playing at parties he would often ask that the lights be extinguished.
• When he was 15, Chopin played piano for the Tzar of Russia. The Tzar was so impressed, he gave the young Chopin a diamond ring.
• The pianist/composer arrived in Paris in 1831, never returning to Poland. While he was there he made friends with composers like Liszt, Berlioz, and Mendelssohn.
• Chopin’s body is buried in Paris, but his heart is buried in Warsaw.

 

Three important works:
• Nocturne No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 (1831)
• Prelude Op. 28, No. 15 in D-flat Major (1838)
• Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 35 (1839)

 

Audio Backpack playlist: Frédéric Chopin

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