Chopin was born in Poland in 1810 and died in his beloved Paris in poverty in 1849. In a time when 141 piano makers and a plethora of pianists, including Liszt and Schumann who both admired him, lived and worked in Paris, he was one of the leading musicians.
He never had a piano lesson, instead received his grounding from a violin master. A child prodigy and natural pianist, he developed a technique that 'made the piano sing'. He was influenced by earlier composers including Mozart whom he greatly admired, he gave his first public performance at the age of 8 and published at the age of 15. However, he hated giving large concerts and made what little money he did by teaching, composing and private recitals.
Through the eyes of some of today's eminent pianists and played on wonderful old instruments that have a more mellow sound and fluid movement from key to key than modern instruments, snippets of his amazing output are played. These folk clearly consider Chopin as a superstar – as his was in his lifetime. Directed by Phil Grabsky and narrated by Juliet Stevenson, it is one of a series of popular films 'in search of' the lives of famous composers. His life is traced through the cities he visits and lives in, and there are many.