Folio Society Gallery
exhibition space at the British Library
96 Euston Road
Born 200 years ago, Fryderyk Chopin first visited Britain in 1837 and returned in 1848, fleeing the Revolution in Paris. He was welcomed in a country which had developed strong sympathies for his native Poland, and the story of his tour of Great Britain will be told in the context of the Polish fervour which had taken over the artistic and political life of the country. Original manuscripts of several of his most famous compositions will be shown alongside portraits, letters and concert programmes. Chopin gave his last five concerts in Britain, and the exhibition will include rare historic recordings of the pieces he played on his tour. Above all, the exhibition will reveal Chopin's close involvement in the Polish political cause at a time when it was brought into question by wider European events.