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Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period who wrote primarily for solo piano. He is known worldwide as a leading musician of his era, one whose technical and compositional genius was unrivalled.

This sculpture was commissioned to commemorate Chopin's last concert in London, which took place in the Guildhall on 16 November 1848; and the celebrate the anniversary concert at Guildhall on 20 November 1978.

A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20. At 21, he settled in Paris. In the last 18 years of his life he gave only 30 public performances. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand, but which he found exhausting. Among the influences on his style were Polish folk music, the classical tradition of Bach, Mozart, and Schubert, as well as the atmosphere of the Parisian salons of which he was a frequent guest.

Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest celebrities, his indirect association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, and his early death by tuberculosis have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era.

Commissioned by the Byron Society,

Anglo-Polish Society and Chopin Society

Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London

Image and text © Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, 2022

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