The Chopin Society (London) was founded in 1971 by Lucie Swiatek to celebrate the genius of Fryderyk Chopin and increase the knowledge and appreciation of his music.
We present distinguished international artists and outstanding young performers in monthly recitals, which always include works by Chopin and often those of other composers. We also offer occasional talks and lecture-recitals by leading Chopin experts.
The Chopin Society has expanded considerably over the last few years and now has around 300 members. Fortunately it now has a hall large enough to accommodate these numbers as well as the general public, though from time-to-time members only events are held in smaller venues.
Members Matinees are held several times a year where members who can perform have the opportunity to play to an audience in a private house. These have proved to be very popular events.
Nearly all the Society’s concerts are free to members, though a small charge is made for optional refreshments at an informal reception afterwards where people can socialise and meet the artist.
Find out more about the Society's history and how it has celebrated Chopin's anniversaries.
In 2007 the Society left its home of 33 years, the Polish Institute & Sikorski Museum and has since held concerts in various venues in Central London. Since 2011 the Society has had a new permanent venue in Westminster Cathedral Hall.
2010 was Chopin’s bicentenary year and to celebrate this the Chopin Society organised a concert series, In the Footsteps of Chopin, based around places where Chopin stayed or performed during his visit to London in 1848. See the Anniversaries page for details of our bicentenary celebrations, including the Gala at Lancaster House and the Grand Concert Dinner and Ball at the Guildhall.
Malcuzynski's SteinwayAs a result of our piano appeal, the Society was given a magnificent model B Steinway grand by the Barbara Piasecka Johnson Foundation of the United States. This piano had been chosen by the famous Polish pianist, Witold Malcuzynski. It carried his signature engraved on the frame by Bulgari and was played by him in the last years of his life. Following restoration by Bob Glazebrook the piano was inaugurated in 1998 by Nicolai Demidenko in time for our celebrity series in 1999. Recently restored by Steinway & Sons, it is used for most of our concerts and has a particularly beautiful tone.
Chopin's Pleyelin 2010 the Chopin Society 'adopted' the Chopin Pleyel in the Cobbe Collection. This was the piano Chopin brought to London and had in his Dover Street apartment.It was performed on by Nikolai Demidenko at the Society's gala at Lancaster House on May 15th 2010, celebrating Chopin's bicentenary (see anniversaries).
The Society's 40th anniversary
2011 was the Chopin Society's own 40th anniversary. An anniversary Gala concert with Angela Hewitt was held at Strawberry Hill Twickenham, and a birthday concert at Westminster Cathedral Hall - read about it. The Chopin Society was honoured to have HRH Princess Alexandra as its Royal Patron, and HE Barbara Tuge-Erecińska, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland as its Honorary President during 2010 and 2011.
Over the past few years the Chopin Society have raised over £100,000 for various charities including Marie Curie Cancer Care, Strawberry Hill, the Cobbe Collection, Prostate UK and the Pelican Cancer Foundation.
At the Guildhall Gala:
Lady Rose Cholmondeley, with Sir Nicolas Fenn, Sir Bernard Lovell, and HRH Princess Alexandra.
Chopin's Pleyel piano at Hatchlands