Frederic Chopin Biography
Frédéric François Chopin (IPA: ), (March 1, 1810 – October 17, 1849) was a Polish-French pianist and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the most famous, influential, admired and prolific composers for the piano.
He was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin in the village of ?elazowa Wola, Poland, to a Polish mother and French expatriate father. Hailed as a child prodigy in his homeland, Chopin left for Paris at the age of 20. In Paris, he made a career as a performer and teacher as well as a composer, and adopted the French variant of his name, "Frédéric-François". He had a turbulent 10-year relationship with the French writer George Sand (Baroness Dudevant) from 1837 to 1847. Always in fragile health, he succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 39.
Chopin wrote almost exclusively for the piano, and published little music that did not involve it. His compositions are widely considered to be among the pinnacles of the piano's repertoire. Although his music is among the most technically demanding for the instrument, Chopin's style emphasizes poetry, nuance, and expressive depth rather than mere technical display. He invented some musical forms, but his most significant innovations were within existing structures such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, prelude and Polonaise. His works are often cited as among the mainstays of Romanticism in nineteenth-century classical music.
Chopin was born in ?elazowa Wola in Poland near Sochaczew, in the region of Masovia, which was part of the Duchy of Warsaw. He was born to Nicolas Chopin, a Frenchman of distant Polish ancestry who adopted Poland as his homeland when he moved there in 1787, and married Tekla Justyna Krzy?anowska, a Pole.
According to the composer's family, Chopin was born on March 1, 1810, and he always celebrated his birthday on this day. His baptismal certificate lists his date of birth as February 22, but this was most likely an error on the part of the priest (the certificate was written on 23 April, almost eight weeks after the birth).
Chopin's music for the piano combined a unique rhythmic sense (particularly his use of rubato, frequent use of chromaticism, and counterpoint). This mixture produces a particularly fragile sound in the melody and the harmony, which are nonetheless underpinned by solid and interesting harmonic techniques. He took the new salon genre of the nocturne, invented by Irish composer John Field, to a deeper level of sophistication, and endowed popular dance forms, such as the Polish mazurka and the Viennese waltz, with a greater range of melody and expression. Chopin was the first to write Ballades (a genre he invented) and Scherzi as individual pieces. Chopin also took the example of Bach's preludes and fugues, transforming the genre in his own preludes.
In commemoration of the genius of Frédéric Chopin, the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition is held in Warsaw, Poland every five years. Also, the "Grand prix du disque de F.Chopin" is also held periodically to award notable Chopin recordings, both remastered and newly recorded work.
Taiwanese pop singer, Jay Chou's November's Chopin Album is named in Chopin's honor.
Chopin and Sand's illustrious relationship is embroidered in the 1991 film Impromptu which stars Hugh Grant as Chopin and Judy Davis as George Sand. A possibly more historically accurate depiction of their relationship can be found in the 2002 movie Chopin: Desire for Love by Academy Award nominee director Jerzy Antczak, featuring Piotr Adamczyk as Chopin and Danuta Stenka as George Sand. A Song to Remember released in 1945 is another biographical movie.