Monday, February 6, 2017

Chopin's Relationship with George Sand

Some are sweet while others are scandalous – this month Clef Notes looks at famous love stories among classical composers. Also be sure to check out a Valentine’s Day playlist that will post on February 14!

Frederic Chopin was known to be a very proper man. It’s likely that this is the reason he was initially turned off by Aurore Dudevant’s pursuits in 1836. Known by her pen name, George Sand, Dudevant was a strong woman who was known to smoke cigars, sleep around, and dress in more masculine attire (something not commonly accepted in the nineteenth century). George Sand was persuasive, however, as the pair were lovers no more than two years following their initial meeting.

George Sand
Courtesy of

Chopin and Sand spent nine years together, a period that many may consider to be the peak of the composer’s career. The affair ended as Sand’s two children grew up. The exact reasons are unclear, but it’s likely that tensions existed between Sand, Chopin, and the children due to the dysfunctional nature of the home. Chopin did what he could to love and support the children and when he refused to accept Sand’s mistreatment of her daughter, the relationship was broken off. Just a few years later, he died from the tubercular symptoms he’d been battling for years. It is said that Sand didn’t bother showing up for the funeral.

Frederic Chopin
Courtesy of

Next time, join me as we look at the famous affair between Franz Liszt and Countess Marie d’Agoult. 


  1. Sand did not mistreat her daughter, but Chopin took Solange's side in one of her frequent quarrels with her mother, and he broke it off with Sand. Sand was unstinting and meticulous in her care for Chopin during his illnesses. It is time for the maligning of George Sand to end.

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