Chopin and Music
NARRATOR: Kate Chopin was not only an accomplished writer, she was also quite a musician. In fact, the first artistic work that Kate published was not fiction, but a musical composition called "Lilia Polka." It was named for her daughter, Lilia.
SOUNDBITE: Thomas Bonner, Jr./Xavier University of Louisiana
I think that she wrote this and had it published with the hope of seeing where it would take her. And, it didn't take her anywhere in the music world.
NARRATOR: Professor Bonner points out that Chopin was a respected musician within her family and her community. There are reports that she could repeat any piece of music she had ever heard as a child. Emily Toth says Chopin also played music for her father-in -law�winning from him a small measure of affection�which was not an easy thing to do. Some of Kate's children carried on the tradition.
SOUNDBITE: David Chopin/Kate's Grandson
Uncle Fred was a fine pianist and I remember one time he was visiting us at our home in St. Louis and he sat down and played and he played beautifully and if he had gone on to become a concert pianist with the authentic name of Frederick Chopin it would have been great, but he didn't take that path.
NARRATOR: Now more on Kate Chopin's writing.