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A historical photograph of the Chopin bust with a rollover image to a photograph of the bust severely damaged by vandalism.Frederic Chopin: (1810-1849) Polish Composer and Pianist

Frederic Chopin was born to a French father and Polish mother in Zelazowa Wola near current day Warsaw.  In 1822, he studied music at the Warsaw Conservatory where he was influenced by Bach and Mozart. At nineteen years old, Chopin wrote his F minor concerto and played several concerts throughout Vienna.  In 1831, he arrived in Paris where he was to spend the rest of his life.  (The Musical Archives)

Even though he was confined to mostly piano works, Chopin has been ranked as one of music’s greatest tone poets. “His compositions include two concertos, nocturnes, sonatas, scherzos, polonaises, mazurkas, preludes and waltzes.  He also created new musical forms as the etudes and ballads.” (Sanford, George and Adriana Gozdecka-Sanford.  Historical Dictionary of Poland.  p.48)

Chopin was known for combining national music with popular folk themes, creating a distinctive and original style in Polish music which appealed to a universal audience.  While in Paris, he often played for the French aristocracy.  Soon after the French revolution broke out, Chopin accepted an offer to visit England and Scotland.  He made his last public appearance at the Guildhall in London on November, 16, 1848 in his final patriotic gesture, as he played for the benefit of Polish refugees. (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition, p. 264) 

“A bust of Frederic Chopin, Polish composer and pianist of world renown, the centennial of whose death was recently commemorated throughout the world, was modeled by Charles Dienes, Cleveland artist, and was the gift in 1947 of Harmonia Chopin Singing Society.” (Lederer, Clara.  Their Paths Are Peace: The Story of Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens. p. 83, 1954)

Photographs:

Bust of Chopin The Cleveland Memory Project

Photographs of the Garden

Further Reading:

Music Files, United Kingdom

Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, 4th edition by Michael Kennedy and Joyce Bourne

Krantz, Adam.  The Classical Music Archives.

The Poles, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Polish National Catholic Church, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Sanford, George and Adriana Gozdecka-Sanford.  Historical Dictionary of Poland.  Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., p.48, 1994.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition, Vol. 3, p. 264, 2002.