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Chopin was born on March 1st., 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, Poland. He died in Paris on October 17, 1848.

Here, Chopin lived the first few months of his life. His family moved to Warsaw where his father worked as a college professor.

In Warsaw Chopin was considered a "second Mozart." By the age of 7 he had composed two polonaises. The child prodigy was featured in the Warsaw newspapers, and "little Chopin" became the attraction at receptions given in the aristocratic salons of Warsaw. Chopin gave his first piano recital at the age of 8.

The Warsaw Concert Hall, where Chopin gave his first concerts.

Maria Wodzinska was Chopins student; she painted this portrait and gave it to him. They became engaged, but her family convinced her to break the engament, due to Chopins poor health. Chopin was devasted, and always kept her letters with a hadwritten note of his saying My Sorrow.

Chopin preferred more intimate settings for a recital, like the home of Count and Countess Radziwil, as he didnt like large concert halls.

While visiting Vienna, he heard about an uprising in Warsaw, and decided not to return to Poland. He stayed in Vienna for a few more months before visiting Munich and Stuttgart, Germany, where he learned of Poland's occupation by the Russian army.

1830

Chopin moved to Paris in 1830. He was 20 years old and had already composed many works for the piano, including his two concertos and some of his tudes Opus 10.

Church of Notredame guardian of the night. Paris.

Notredame Cathedral.

In Paris, Chopin formed personal friendships with the artists Franz Lizst, Hector Berlioz, Felix Mendelssohn, and Vincenzo Bellini. Robert Schumann wrote: "Hats off, gentlemen! A genius.

Chopin formed a strong friendship with Camille Pleyel, owner of the Pleyel piano factory. From that time on, Chopins pianos where manufactured by Pleyel. Often Chopin would go to the piano factory, to explain how he wanted his new piano.

In 1838 his friend Eugne Delacroix painted this portrait. Chopin was already very ill with tuberculosis, and had to give private classes and perform in public, to support himself, having little time for what he really wanted to do, compose for the piano.

In 1836, at a party hosted by Countess Marie d'Agoult, fiance of composer and close friend Franz Liszt, Chopin met Amandine-Aurore Dupin, Baroness Dudevant, better known by her pseudonym George Sand, a writer.

Franz Lizst

Baroness Dudevant fell in love with Chopin, and wanted to take care of him, so that his health would improve, so that he would dedicate more time to composing . Finally, he said Yes. They spent long summers in her country state, Nohant. Very often, she invited several of his friends to spend weekends with them. Frequent visitors were Franz Lizst, and Eugne Delacroix (1).

Chopin spent long periods of time in Nohant, from 1838 to 1847, where his health improved markedly.

In 1845 problems emerged in Chopin's relationship with Aurore at the same time of a further deterioration in his health. These problems finally brought an end to their relationship in 1847.

Aurore by Eugne Delacroix.

Jane Stirling, Chopins student from England, helped him to get settled in a new apartment located in the Place Vendme, Paris.

In his new apartment, Chopin composed his last play.

Place Vendme, place of Chopins last residence.

In 1847 Chopin gave concerts in England and Scotland with Jane Stirling, although he was severely ill. He returned to Paris in 1848, but was unable to teach or perform. His sister Ludwika came from Poland to take care him at his home in Paris; he died there on October 17, 1848.

Chopin being cared for by his sister, his doctor, and closest friends.

Chopin requested that Mozart's Requiem be sung at his funeral, at the Church of the Madeleine, and attended by nearly 3,000 people; this church didnt allow female singers in its choir,and the funeral was delayed for almost 2 weeks, until the church finally granted Chopin's final wish. The female singers remained behind a black velvet curtain.

Chopin is buried in the Pre Lachaise cemetery in Paris; at his own request, his heart was removed and sent, in an urn, to Warsaw, where it is sealed in a pillar in the Church of the Holy Cross. His grave attracts many visitors and is always decorated with flowers, even during winter.

The Church of the Holy Cross in 1945, after Warsaw was bombed by the Allies, to free Poland from the Nazis. The pillar where Chopins heart rests remained intact.

The Church of the Holy Cross after reconstruction.

This is the pillar in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw where the urn with Chopins heart is sealed. The exact spot is the small niche at the bottom, where the little flower bouquet is placed.