Chopin sculpture unveiled in Manchester, UK9:45, 12th February 2015
A bronze monument celebrating the life of Chopin has been unveiled on Deansgate, in the centre of Manchester, in the presence of the Polish ambassador Barbara Tuge-Erecinska.
Commissioned by a local committee and the Polish Consulate, and sponsored by property company Bruntwood, the statue is the culmination of local celebrations of the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth. Created by Polish sculptor Robert Sobocinski, it commemorates the one occasion when Chopin performed in Manchester. It depicts him at the piano, gazing at his muse, Baroness Aurore Lucile Dupon, with an eagle in flight and a battle scene symbolising the Polish fight for freedom. It is 4m high and 2.5m wide, set on a sandstone plinth.
Chopin performed at the Gentlemen’s Concert Hall in Manchester on 28 August 1848, having escaped the revolution in Paris, along with Berlioz, Thalberg, Kalkbrenner, Hallé, Pixis, Osborne and others. The hall held 1,200 and may have provided the largest audience he ever saw. The Musical World compared his playing unfavourably with that of Meyer, Herz, Thalberg and Sterndale Bennett. However, Chopin was unwell at the time (the Manchester Guardian noted ‘an almost painful air of feebleness in his appearance and gait’). He died the following year.