Art News

Poles Throw Bicentennial Bash for Composer Frederic Chopin

WARSAW (AP).- The stirring strains of Frederic Chopin’s music are reverberating across the world as music lovers celebrate the composer’s 200th birthday this year — from the chateau of his French lover to Egypt’s pyramids and even into space. But nowhere do celebrations carry the powerful sense of national feeling that they do in Poland, the land of his birth, where his heroic, tragic piano compositions are credited with capturing the essence of the country’s soul. Poland is going all out to display its best “product,” as officials bluntly put it, staging bicentennial concerts and other events in and around Warsaw, the city where the composer — known here as Fryderyk Chopin — spent the first half of his life. “Fryderyk Chopin is a Polish icon,” said Andrzej Sulek, director of the