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Frederic ChopinFrederic Chopin, the Polish composer and pianist, was born on March 1,1810, according to the statements of the artist himself and his family, but according to his baptismal certificate, which was written several weeks after his birth, the date was 22 February. His birthplace was the village of Zelazowa Wola, part of the Duchy of Warsaw.The musical talent of Frederic became apparent extremely early on, and it was compared with the childhood genius of Mozart. Already at the age of 7, Frederic was the author of two polonaises, the first being published in the engraving workshop of Father Cybulski. The prodigy was featured in the Warsaw newspapers, and little Chopin became the attraction and ornament of receptions given in the aristocratic salons of the capital. He also began giving public charity concerts. His first professional piano lessons lasted from 1816 to 1822, when his teacher was no longer able to give any more help to a pupil whose skills surpassed his own. Wilhelm Wurfel, a renowned pianist and professor at the Warsaw Conservatory, supervised the further development of Frederic’s talent. Wurfel would offer valuable, although irregular, advice as regards playing the piano and organ to young Chopin.Frederic later attended the Warsaw Lyceum where his father was one of the professors. He spent his summer holidays in estates belonging to the parents of his school friends in various parts of the country. The young composer listened to and noted down the texts of folk songs, took part in peasant weddings and harvest festivities, danced, and played a folk instrument resembling a double bass with the village musicians; all of which he described in his letters. Chopin became well acquainted with the fol…

…ttish aristocracy. This exceptionally hectic life style and excessive strain on his strength from constant traveling and numerous performances, together with a climate deleterious to his lungs, further damaged his health. In November of 1848, despite frailty and a fever, Chopin gave his last concert, playing for Polish emigres in the Guildhall in London. A few days later, he returned to ParisHis rapidly progressing disease made it impossible to continue giving lessons. In the summer of 1849 the eldest sister of the composer came from Warsaw to take care of her ill brother. On October 17, 1849, Chopin died of pulmonary tuberculosis in his Parisian flat. Though he was buried in Paris, his heart was removed from his body and was placed in an urn installed in a pillar of the Holy Cross church in Krakowskie PrzedmiscieBibliography:Groves Music Dictionary

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