The BBC continues a series of composer-themed extensive broadcasts with a tribute to Frederic Chopin on May 17 and 18. BBC Radio 3 will discuss the composer’s turbulent life and air the complete Chopin catalog during the weekend’s broadcasts, including his 24 Etudes as performed in sequence by 24 separate pianists. Regularly aired programs will examine the role of Polish folk music on the composer and how his work has, in turn, influenced the Polish repertoire.
Chopin was born Fryderyk Szopen in the Duchy of Warsaw in 1810. A piano prodigy, Chopin left Poland for a performing and composing career at 20, but he remained patriotic. His many relationships with women famously included a tumultuous affair with the author George Sand (Aurore Dudevant). Chopin died in France at 39 of tuberculosis.