Warsaw: Royal University of Warsaw

Warsaw: Royal University of Warsaw Warsaw: Royal University of Warsaw

In the years 1826-29 Chopin attended the High School of Music [Główna Szkoła Muzyki], which constituted a Music Department, or part of the Department of Fine Arts, of Warsaw University. Although theoretical lessons were held in the university classrooms and lecture halls, the university authorities wished practical lessons in playing and composition to take place outside the school grounds, in the building of the Conservatory, in the vicinity of the Royal Castle.

Attendance at the High School of Music entitled pupils to attend university lectures. However, every student had to gain approval for his plans, from both Vice-Chancellor Elsner and Dean Bentkowski. In the autumn of 1826 Fryderyk wrote to Jan Białobłocki: 'I have counterpoint with Elsner precisely 6 hours a week; I attend the lectures of Brodziński, Bentkowski and of other subjects that have some kind of link with music.' [1]

It is not certain that Fryderyk attended the lectures referred to in the letter cited above in a systematic way, since analysis of the university timetables reveals that they clashed with obligatory lessons with Elsner, which were the most important for the young musician. We do know, however, that Chopin certainly took part in singing lessons given by Walenty Kratzer.

[1] The correspondence of Fryderyk Chopin, ed. B. E. Sydow, 1 vol. (Warsaw, 1955), 73.


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