March 01, 1810 – October 17, 1849
Frédéric Chopin was one of the greatest pianists of his day. Chopin was born in a town just outside of Warsaw, Poland. His mother introduced him to the piano; by the time he was six, Chopin played extremely well and was starting to compose. He gave his first concert at the age of eight.
When Chopin was 20, he left Poland to seek fame and fortune in other European cities. When Chopin got to Paris, he decided to stay.
There’s a story that when Chopin left his native country, his friends gave him some Polish soil, which he carried around with him for the rest of his life. That’s probably not true, but Chopin did continue to be passionatly patriotic about Poland, even though he never went back there.
Chopin was never healthy, and he was only thirty-nine when he died of tuberculosis. When he was buried — in France — a special box of earth was brought from Poland to sprinkle on his grave. But Chopin’s heart is in Poland — literally. His heart was put in an urn and taken to the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.