Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)
Outstanding Polish composer and pianist. Son of a Frenchman, Nicolas Chopin, and a Pole, Tekla Justyna née Krzyżanowska. He took his first piano lessons from his mother at the age of 4 or 5. He received further education in Warsaw, from acclaimed composers Wojciech Żywny and Józef Elsner.
In 1830, he departed from Warsaw. He never returned to Poland after the November Uprising. He took residence in Paris, where he earned his fame as a virtuoso and improviser. He also often played outside France.
With the passage of time, due to his deteriorating health, he played fewer concerts, but instead composed and taught. He maintained relations with the most prominent personalities of the era, including composer Hector Berlioz, writer Honoré de Balzac, and painter Eugène Delacroix. He was a friend of the Polish cultural elites of the Great Emigration: Adam Mickiewicz, Adam Ursyn Niemcewicz and Cyprian Norwid.
He died of tuberculosis in 1849, in Paris. He was buried in the Père-Lachaise Cemetery. His heart was brought back to Warsaw, to the Church of the Holy Cross.
The Monument to Fryderyk Chopin is one of the most popular locations in the Royal Łazienki. Concerts featuring his music, which are played before the monument, attract thousands of listeners.