Frédéric Chopin

Fryderyk Chopin

1810 (Želazowa Wola, Poland) – 1849 (Paris)

He met Hummel in Warsaw when he was 18, and Czerny in Vienna a year later. He spent much of his adult life in Paris, where he befriended Berlioz, Bellini, Heller, Hiller, Mendelssohn, Delacroix, Hugo, Liszt, Dumas, Franchomme, Balzac and Heine; also Sand, whom he was not initially attracted to, but then spent 10 years with. Paris was a home for other Polish exiles like Mickiewicz. He met Schumann in Leipzig and Dickens during a 7-month stay in London. He only visited Carlyle for an hour, but told his wife that their piano was out of tune.

Alexander Siloti

Alexander Ilyich Siloti;Aleksandr Ilyich Ziloti

1863 (nr. Kharkov, Ukraine) – 1945 (New York)

Liszt taught Siloti (one of those he taught for no payment, after taking holy orders), and nicknamed him ‘Silotissimus’ for his supreme pianistic skills. Siloti also studied with Tchaikovsky (and Rubinstein), and acted as Tchaikovsky’s editor. He himself taught his cousin Rachmaninoff, and was brother-in-law to Bakst. As a pianist, he accompanied Casals, while Schoenberg and Rimsky-Korsakov were guest-conductors in concerts he organised. Busoni found him more welcoming than others in Moscow musical society. Stravinsky, Glazunov, Liszt and Tchaikovsky all dedicated new pieces to him.