Chopin earned the name, "The Poet of the Piano" through his wonderful playing in the drawing rooms of the French aristocracy. He treated the piano as a solo instrument in most of his compositions including preludes, nocturnes, scherzos, and concertos.
Frederic Francois Chopin was born in a village six miles from Warsaw, Poland in 1810. At 9, he played a concerto at a public concert. He published his first composition (a rondo) at 15. In 1831, Chopin moved to Paris where he was well-received. He taught piano lessons and he often played the piano in private homes preferring this to public concerts.
Chopin's admirers included fellow composers Franz List and Robert Schumann. Chopin fell deeply in love with the (female) novelist George Sand (Aurore Dudevant) whom he described as his inspiration. Although Chopin suffered from tuberculosis, he traveled to England in 1848 and 1849 shortly before his death in Paris at the age of 39.
Chopin composed some of the most beautiful piano music ever written.
The Waltz in D-flat was written for George Sand's dog. It is often
called the "Minute Waltz" because it can be played in
one minute. The song "Till the End of Time" was taken
from a Chopin polonaise for a movie about Chopin. "I'm Always
Chasing Rainbows" is a popular American song whose melody
comes from Chopin's work. Mozart's Requiem was played at
Chopin's funeral and along with Chopin's own Funeral March
one of the most famous funeral compositions ever written.
Bye, L. Dean. Student's Gueide to the Great Composers.
Pacific, Montana: Mel Bay Publicaitons, Inc., 1988.
Wechsberg, Joseph. The Pantheon Story of Music for Young People.
New York: Random House, Inc., 1968.