Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin Biography

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was a great Polish music composer who created magical music even at younger age. Read this biography to learn about the profile, childhood, life and time line of this famous musician.

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin

Quick Facts

Also known as: François
Gender: Male
Birthday: 01 March 1810
Died: 17 October 1849
Nationality: Russian
Sun Sign: Pisces
Father: Nicolas Chopin
Mother: Tekla Justyna Chopin
Siblings: Ludwika Jędrzejewicz, Emilia Chopin
Education: Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, University of Warsaw

Frédéric François Chopin was a famous Polish composer and piano virtuoso of Polish patronage and one of the popular musicians of the Romantic period. He was an exceptional prodigy who started composing music at a younger age of six. Young Chopin had amazed many musicians with his talents and had won world-wide appreciation for his extra-ordinary musical compositions. He mastered music at such a young age in which musical legends like Mozart and Beethoven were apprentices. He showed an emotional attachment with music that he used to cry when his mother plays melodies tunes in piano. His musical talents made him friend of many noblemen in Europe, who invited him and listened to his music. He travelled widely, listened to concerts and made friendship with his contemporary music maestros. He suffered from poor health throughout his life but his passion for music and innate talent drove him and inspired him to work dedicatedly and create wonders. Here is a brief account of his personal and professional life for you to refer.

Early Life

Frédéric François Chopin was born as second child to Nicholas Chopin, a French man who migrated to Poland and Justyna Krzanowska. He took birth in Żelazowa Wola, His date of birth is debated as the baptismal records shows 22nd February 1810 as his birthday while his family states that the was born on 1st March 1810. His elder sister Ludwika was a great musician and was Chopin’s first piano teacher. He was baptized on 23rd April in the Brochow church where his parents got married. His name in parish register is in Latin - Fridericus Franciscus whereas in Polish, it was Fryderyk Franciszek. Chopin’s family moved to Warsaw when he was of seven months of birth as his father was invited to teach French at Warsaw Lyceum. His family was put up in Saxon palace compound as the school was housed in that building. Later this school was shifted to the Kazimiers Palace which hosed the Warsaw University as well. Chopin’s family thus got shifted to a spacious apartment near the school. Chopin attended the same school from 1823 to 1826. Chopin’s family had a high polish spirit that Louis Enault, lending George Sand’s phrase, described that Chopin was “more Polish than Poland. Chopin inherited music from his family. His father was well-versed with flute and violin and his mother was a piano teacher. Chopin had a strong inclination towards music even from very small age and his contemporary musician Jozef Sikorski had recalled that he used to weep with emotion hearing his mother playing piano. Young Chopin, at the age of six, used to try reproducing whatever music he heard. He attempted to compose new melodies as well. Yong Chopin received Professional piano lessons from Czech Wojciech Zywny, a Polish Pianist. Chopin started giving public performances at the age of seven and was compared with Mozart and Beethoven for his unusual musical skills. Young Chopin composed two Polonaises at the age of seven. These works were of high standards that they were said to rival the popular polonaises of leading composers like Michał Kleofas Ogiński. At the age of 11 Chopin got a chance to perform in front of Alexander I, Tsatr of Russia. He had remarkable observation and sketching skills and good sense of humor. He had an amazing ability to mimic whatever he observed.
Young Chopin became so famous that he was invited to the Belweder Palace to meet the son of Russian Poland ruler Grand Duke Constantine. He played amazing music with piano that the duke was highly enthralled and impressed by the young talent.

Career, Personal Life And Success

Teenage Chopin attended Warsaw Lyceum and Warsaw Conservatory and spent vacation at different places away from home. He visited places like Szafarnia, Duszniki, Pomerania, and Sanniki during such vacations. He got to know about folk melodies during one such visit to Szafarnia. Chopin was enrolled Warsaw Lyceum in 1823, at the age of 13. He gave a public performance in the year in 1825 and was recognized as the best pianist in Warsaw. Chopin was tutored by Jozef Elsner from 1826 and the three-year course was affiliated to the University of Warsaw. Thus Chopin got formal education on figured bass, music theory, composition etc. though Elsner had given informal training on these much earlier, in 1823. Elsner identified the musical talents in Chopin and decided to let him grow “according to the laws of his own nature”.
Polish artist Ambroży Mieroszewski made a set of five portraits of Chopin’s family which featured Chopin, his parents, elder sister Ludwika and younger sister Izabela. Young Chopin could not be compared with any of the musical masters as he had accomplished great standards and originality even at younger age. He mastered music at an age where Mozart, Beethoven and Bach were apprentices. Chopin, along with his friend Feliks Jarocki, went to Berlin in 1828, at the age of eighteen. He attended several concerts there and met famous musicians like Carl Friedrich Zelter, Felix Mendelssohn and many others. He was invited by Prince Antoni Radziwill, the music-talented governor of Grand Duchy of Posen. Chopin composed “Introduction and Polonaise brilliant in C major for cello and piano, Op. 3.” for him and his daughter Wanda. In 1830 Chopin went to Vienna with an intention to move to Italy. But he had to hold this idea due to the November Uprising in connection with Polish-Russian war. Chopin left to Paris in 1931 but was still uncertain about his future. He gave a concert in Paris in February 1932 which was a grand success and received wide admiration. He became a French citizen and was issued a French Passport. Despite being highly patriotic, he used French version of his name in travel documents. Chopin went to Carlsbad in 1935 and met his parents for the last time. On his way back to Paris, he met Wodzinskis, his old friends from Warsaw and made acquaintance with their daughter Maria and fell in love with her. He proposed for marriage with the family accepted but there were two major concerns before them- one that Maria was just sixteen year old and the other that Chopin had a tenuous health. Considering these two factors, the marriage was postponed indefinitely and the engagement remained a secret. He composed Étude in F minor and referred it as "a portrait of Maria's soul." He sent seven songs to Maria along with this. The romance episode with Maria had an ill-fate and ended abruptly. He then got into relationship with Polish Countess Delfina Potocka. His romantic life took another turn when he met with French author and feminist Amandine Aurore Lucille Dupin, popularly known as George Sand. Chopin suffered from serious health issues which worsened by 1839. The summer of 1839 proved quite productive as he was able to compose many works. He continued to suffer from serious health issues including chronic lung disease and Sand was a nurse to him rather than a lover. She called him her ‘third child’.

Final Years And Death

Chopin gave his last performance in Guildhall in November 1848 and this was more of a patriotic gesture as he played it for the benefit of Polish refugees. He returned to Paris in November end 1848 and his elder sister Ludwika came to Paris and stayed with him. In September 1849 he shifted to a seven-room posh apartment, which housed Russian Embassy before, with the help of his wealthy Scottish pupil. Chopin’s health condition constantly deteriorated. His health condition was very worst that he was about to die. He asked his friend Delfina Potocka to play sonatas. Chopin called out to god and wanted to die in Sand’s arms. He died on 17th October 1849 in Paris. The cause of death is still debated because his death certificate indicated tuberculosis as the cause of death whereas another reason, cystic fibrosis is also cited as a cause. His heart was removed before funeral, according to his dying wish, preserved in alcohol and was taken to his homeland. This heart was later sealed in a pillar of Holy Cross Church. During the 1944 Warsaw Uprising his heart was removed for safe keeping and then returned to the same place. His funeral was attended by 90,000 people and his body was entombed in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.


Russian composer Sergi Lyapunove dedicated a symphonic poem for him.
A bronze statue of Chopin, designed by Waclaw Szymanowski was erected I Warsaw, in 1926
There is a bronze statue of Chopin in Symphony circle, New York.
International Chopin Piano competition, a monographic music competition, was founded in 1927 and is held every five years in Warsaw.
There is a Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Ostrogski Palace, Warsaw.
Largest music conservatory Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw is named after him
There is an airport, Warsaw Chopin airport named after him.


59 mazurkas
27 preludes
27 études
18 polonaises,
21 nocturnes
20 waltzes
5 rondos
4 impromptus
4 ballades
4 sets of variations
4 scherzi
3 écossaises
3 piano sonatas
2 concerti
Several Other compositions

Time Line

1810: Chopin was born in Zelazowa Wola, Poland.
1823: Chopin attended Warsaw Lyceum from 1823.
1825: Chopin gave a public performance and was recognized as the best pianist in Warsaw.
1826: Chopin was tutored by Jozef Elsner and this three-year course was affiliated to the University of Warsaw.
1828: Chopin went to Berlin in 1828, at the age of eighteen.
1830: Chopin went to Vienna with an intention to move to Italy.
1931: Chopin left to Paris in, still uncertain about his future.
1932: He gave a concert in Paris in February, which was a grand success and received wide admiration.
1935: Chopin went to Carlsbad and met his parents for the last time.
1848: Chopin gave his last performance in Guildhall in November
1849: Chopin shifted to a seven-room posh apartment, which housed Russian Embassy before, with the help of his wealthy Scottish pupil.
1849: Chopin died on 17th October in Paris.

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Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin Biography

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Last Updated

May 29, 2019

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