Classical Music Talk

January 1, 2010

Frédéric Chopin

Filed under: Uncategorized — classicalconnect @ 2:25 pm


Chopin was born in Zelazowa Wola, near Sochaczew, part of the Mazovia region, located at that time under the Duchy of Warsaw. His father, Mikolaj (Nicolas) Chopin, a French citizen of Polish origin leaves Lorraine in 1787. In Poland, Nicolas married Tekla Justyna Krzyzanowska, an aristocrat whose family faced financial problems.

According to the composer’s family, Chopin was born on March 1 1810. There is no birth certificate attesting to that. His certificate of baptism shows February 22 as his birthday, but this is considered an error made by the priest.

Years of training

In October 1810, when Frédéric was aged of seven months, the family moved to the capital Warsaw, where the father takes a job as teacher of French in the school hosted by a Saxon palace. The family lives in the palace.

Young Chopin received his first piano lessons from Ludwika, his older sister. Also, the mother attends his education. Because of his musical talent easily noted, Chopin’s reputation was appreciated as the “second Mozart”. At the age of seven years he was already the author of two Polish (G minor and B flat major), the first being published in the workshop of Father Cybulski, Director of Organist School and one of the few music publishers in Poland.

Articles about child prodigy appear in the press in Warsaw and “little Chopin” became an attraction in the receptions held by the aristocracy of the capital. All around this period he begins to support public charity concerts. First appearance as a pianist takes place at the age of eight years.

Under the direction of Wojciech Zywny, Chopin takes piano music professional lessons during 1816-1822. Chopin speaks with great admiration about his teacher, although the professionalism of the young pupil would quickly exceed those of his teacher. Further, the developing talent is supervised by Wilhelm Würfel, renowned pianist and professor of the Warsaw Conservatory. He teaches them valuable organ lesson, possibly piano music, but at irregular intervals. Between 1823 and 1826 Chopin attended the Highschool in Warsaw, where his father worked. In the fall of 1826, Chopin begins to study music theory, and composition with the composer Józef Elsner in the Conservatory. It is possible that Chopin have had contact with Elsner since 1822, the fact is that he was guided by Elsner particularly before 1823. Chopin completes his normal course of three years at the Conservatory in 1829.


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