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Frederic Chopin


Frederic Chopin was a French composer who lived a short but influential life from March 1st 1810 to October 17th 1849. He was lost to the world after succumbing to his lifelong ill health at only 38 years of age. Although he came from a middle class existence, he spent most of his life within the upper classes due to his popularity and social status.

Child Genius

After his mother exposed him to music at an early age he began composing his first pieces for the piano at the tender age of 6. By the time he was 8 he was performing his own compositions and being invited to play at salons. French salons in that time were mid to upscale gatherings in a large reception hall or a room in a mansion.

People went to these social gatherings to discuss ideas, exchange philosophies, share news, and to listen to music, poetry and other readings. By 16 he was attending the Warsaw Conservatory of Music before making his debut in Vienna at the age of 19.

Music Career

Chopin was a romantic and emotional composer. His pieces successfully stirred the souls of his audiences. Some say that in his short career he added more to music than any other composer that has existed. For some of his works he used poetry of the time for his inspiration. Others were written for the purpose of dancing or were inspired by the sound of dancing pieces. Interestingly, Chopin would write many of the same style of piece with one differing so much from another it was hard to imagine they were from the same composer. Indeed, the life work of Chopin is so broad and numerous, it is like he added the musical genius of 5 gifted men to the world's musical repertoire.

Chopin's Disease

Since his death, Chopin's illness has puzzled many physicians. Many hours of research have gone into solving the mystery of his death. He struggled from coughing spells most of his life and indeed both his father and sister died from respiratory related complications. He is often listed as dying from Tuberculosis, but he had been cure from that 10 years before his death. Some suggest that cystic fibrosis could have run in the family and would explain the symptoms. This possibility could be confirmed if scientists would be granted a tissue sample of Chopin's heart which is being kept in Poland.



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