Lived from 1810–1849
Born in Poland, but moved to Paris, France when he was 20.
Earned most of his money from teaching piano and selling compositions.
Chopin's health was poor - he suffered with a lung disease his entire life, which sapped his stamina. When he performed in recitals, Chopin typically chose small salons and performed for an intimate circle of guests rather than renting a concert hall. (Chopin was physically unable to play "with gusto.")
Wrote predominately for piano. Even the works that include orchestra are more like piano solos with accompaniment.
Chopin is noted for writing an extensive collection of "etudes" or studies - technical studies designed to help students master the technical aspect of playing the piano.
Chopin's etudes were unique in his time, in that not only are they technically challenging, but they are also aesthetically pleasing to the ear.
Chopin is also noted for writing nocturnes (night pieces) and for inventing the instrumental ballade (telling a story without vocalist).