The Life and Music of Chopin

Chopin’s music has delighted music lovers for nearly two centuries. Perhaps no other composer is so closely associated with the piano, newly finding its voice in Chopin’s time. His too-short life had its own drama and turmoil, with his exile from Poland, his battle with illness, and his relationship with French author George Sand. This one-day music course explores the life and music of Chopin, delving into the story of his life, and listening to some of his greatest works, including some lesser-known and under-appreciated ones. No prior musical knowledge is necessary, music we will listen to includes:

  • Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
  • Preludes, Op. 28
  • Prelude No. 15, "Raindrop"
  • Etude in C minor, "Revolutionary"
  • Etude in A flat major
  • Waltz No. 9, "Farewell"
  • Waltz No. 6, "Minute Waltz"
  • Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major
  • Fantasie-Impromptu in C# minor
  • Polonaise No. 3, "Military"
  • Polonaise No. 6, "Heroic"
  • Berceuse in D flat major
  • Mazurka No. 23 in D major
  • Ballade No. 4 in F minor (and many others)

This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.


  • Introduction, What do we think of when we think of Chopin?, Chopin’s Place in History, Chopin’s Musical Style: what makes Chopin sound like Chopin, The Romantic Period: social and historical background
  • Chopin’s early years in Poland, Trips to Berlin and Vienna, Early love: Constantia Gladkowska
  • Making a name in Paris, Engagement to Maria Wodzinski, Chopin and Liszt
  • Relationship with George Sand, Chopin’s illness, Chopin’s last years


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe elements of Chopin’s musical style.
  2. List some of Chopin’s works, and describe their place in his musical output.
  3. Describe some of the major events of Chopin’s life.

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list by clicking .