Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation." A child prodigy, he settled in Paris at 21. In the last 18 years of his life he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest celebrities, his indirect association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era.