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Frederic Chopin

Frédéric-François Chopin (March 1, 1810 - October 17, 1849) is widely seen as the greatest of Polish composers and an outstanding pianist as well. He wrote almost exclusively for the piano.

Born in Zelazowa Wola in central Poland to a French father and Polish mother, he started his musical education in 1816, composed his first work in 1817, and made his first appearance on stage in 1818. He studied music first with Joseph Elsner, and after 1826 in the Musical School in Warsaw.

In 1830 he left Poland for France and lived the rest of his life in Paris, where he died of tuberculosis in 1849. He was companion to novelist George Sand for ten years, but she left him when he got tuberculosis, and he died soon after that. His friends were Franz Liszt and Vincenzo Bellini (beside whom he is buried in the Père Lachaise).

Although Chopin is buried in Paris, his heart is entombed in a pillar in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw, Poland.

Chopin's music belongs to the Romantic period of classical music. However, Chopin regarded the Romantic movement in a negative way and did not want to associate himself with it. Nowadays, Chopin's music is considered to be the paragon of the Romantic style.

His works, almost all for the piano, include:

In commemoration of the genius of Frédéric Chopin there is an international piano competition held in Warsaw every five years.

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