Frederic Francois Chopin, though Polish, worked in France and wrote the most well-loved piano music of all time, noted for its harmonic imagination, and its lyrical and melancholy qualities.
Chopin was born in 1810, near Warsaw, Poland, of a Polish mother and French father. At 8 years old he commenced studies at the Warsaw Conservatory. At the age of 20 he went to Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. He became a concert pianist and composer. His output was almost entirely for solo piano, except for two piano concertos. His idealized memories of his native Poland inspired all his musical compositions.
He seized the idea of the Nocturne from Irish composer John Field, and made it his own, writing many beautiful slow melodic pieces in this genre. He also used some Polish dance forms, such as the mazurka and polonaise, for many pieces. His studies are beautiful to listen to, as well as instructive and very challenging to play. His waltzes are world famous above all of his piano music.