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Polish composer and pianist of the romantic school regarded by some as the greatest of all composers of music for the piano Born Fryderyk Chopin in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw of a French father and a Polish mother he preferred to use the French name Frdric He began to study the piano at the age of four and when he was eight years old he played at a private concert in Warsaw Later he studied harmony and counterpoint at the Warsaw Conservatory Chopin was also precocious as a composer His first published composition is dated 1817 He gave his first concerts as a piano virtuoso in 1829 in Vienna where he lived for the next two years After 1831 except for brief absences Chopin lived in Paris where he became noted as a pianist teacher and composer He formed an intimate relationship in 1837 with French writer George Sand In 1838 Chopin began to suffer from tuberculosis and Sand nursed him in Mallorca in the Balearic Islands and in France until continued differences between the two resulted in an estrangement in 1847 Thereafter his musical activity was limited to giving several concerts in 1848 in France Scotland and England He died in Paris of tuberculosis Nearly all of Chopins compositions are for piano Although an expatriate he was deeply loyal to his war-torn homeland his mazurkas reflect the rhythms and melodic traits of Polish folk music and his polonaises are marked by a heroic spirit Italian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini also influenced his melodies His ballades scherzos and tudes exemplify his large-scale works for solo piano
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