Composers / Fryderyk Chopin / Persons catalog

Wojciech Żywny

Wojciech Żywny (Vojtěch Živný) (1756 or 1760–1842) was Chopin’s only piano teacher (1816–1821). It was Żywny who instilled a love of Mozart in Chopin.

Originally from Bohemia, Żywny was a highly trained instrumentalist. He was a composer, as well as a proficient pianist, violinist and organist, and he had also studied harmony and counterpoint. Żywny spent most of his life in Warsaw, where he supported himself by giving piano lessons. While Chopin was easily his most outstanding pupil, he also taught Chopin’s sisters, Jan Białobłocki, Dominik Dziewanowski, Tytus Woyciechowski and many others. Żywny was universally loved. His fortunes were closely linked with those of the Chopin family, with whom he spent most of his time and where he was treated as one of the family. His pupils remembered him for his sometimes strange mannerisms and peculiar outlook. Chopin had a high regard for Żywny. He dedicated the Polonaise in A flat major (KK IVa No. 2), a childhood work, to him and in a letter to his family from Vienna he wrote ‘No one here wishes to take me for a pupil. Blahetka said that he is surprised by nothing so much as by how I learned this in Warsaw. I replied that with Mr Żywny and Elsner even the greatest jackass would learn’.


Dziewanowski home »

38 Senatorska Street

Powązki »

1 Powązkowska Street

Wojciech Żywny’s apartment »

19 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street

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