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Discovering the Classical Music Composers: Frederic Chopin

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

This month we explore in our blog one of the most beloved piano composers:

Frederich Chopin. He was a Polish-born pianist and composer and his writings changed the course of piano music. An interesting fact about him is that he only gave 30 public performances in 30 years of concertizing! Yet his music and legacy echo through the centuries and his repertoire holds unmatchable weight and significance in the piano repertoire.

Early Years

Chopin's mother was Polish, his father a Frenchman who had come to Poland as a young man and held jobs as a bookkeeper and tutor before marrying and settling in Warsaw. Young Frederic studied piano with Wojciech Zywny and harmony and counterpoint with Jozef Elsner, gave his first concert when he was 8, and rather quickly outdistanced his teachers. Seeking to expand his horizons, he left Poland for Vienna in November 1830, and after eight months there, headed for Paris. He would never again return to his native country.

The Composer And His Piano

Chopin was the first composer of genius to devote himself uniquely to the piano — every one of his works was written for it either as a solo instrument or in combination with other instruments. The majority of his solo pieces are in shorter forms and improvisatory by nature. These include 20 nocturnes, 25 preludes, 17 waltzes, 15 polonaises, 58 mazurkas, and 27 etudes.

In our new The Creative Muse Project, we explored the art fusion of dance and piano to bring a fresh take to his Grande Valsa Brilliante Op. 34, No.2 in A minor.

This is a slow waltz that mixes melancholy with glimpses of hope and liveliness in the middle section. Since Chopin is known as the "poet of the piano", our intention with this project is to represent each move of the dance as the "word" of his music.

We hope you enjoyed this article and we look forward to educating parents and students in the art of teaching and learning more about music and piano.

If you would like more information, contact us at 813.528.3638 and we will be glad to set up your first free trial lesson!

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