Free Chopin concerts in the park in center Warsaw

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Each Sunday, passersby are invited to attend free Chopin piano concerts in the Royal Baths Park in Warsaw, in an event that has reached its 60th season this year.

Young couples lying down on the grass, students reading, tourists taking photos, pensioners hiding from the sun under the tall trees in the Royal Baths Park in central Warsaw -- everyone is part of the audience of a regular Sunday concert of Chopin's piano music taking place for years in Warsaw. It has become a trademark of the city, for both tourists and locals.

The concerts take place twice a day, at midday and at 4 p.m., and the pianists interpreting the pieces at the foot of the giant statue of Chopin situated in the park are either renowned Polish artists or international guests -- this year, coming from Bulgaria, Canada, France, Hungary, Spain, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. This year's concert cycle started May 19 and will finish Sept. 29.

The fact that the concerts are free and regular means that some locals have taken to integrating them in their weekend routine.

"I come here almost every weekend, together with my sister, after we meet at my place and have a lunch," 66-year old Beata Wit, a retired teacher, told Xinhua while preparing to listen to Polish pianist Marek Drewnowski on Sunday.

"We've been coming for years and it's great to see that so many people are joining every time. We are proud that the music of Chopin reaches so many people from all over the world who visit Warsaw," Wit said.

"We've lived in Warsaw for ten years now, and we come time and again here to listen to classical music, to the great Chopin, Poland's pride and joy," Madalina Popescu, a Moldovan woman who lives in Warsaw with her family, told Xinhua. "How privileged we are to enjoy over and over again the creations of this beautiful mind."

Organized by the Stoleczna Estrada cultural institution and the Fryderyk Chopin Society, the concerts have been taking place since 1959, gathering about 80,000 viewers each season.

Born in 1810, Fryderyk Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist from the Romantic age, who wrote music primarily for the piano. His compositions are well-known across the world.

Visitors to Warsaw run into Chopin's traces all over the city. A Chopin museum in the old town, founded in 1954, was refurbished in 2010 and is now one of the most modern museums in the country, with collections displayed on five levels and the exhibition spaces -- including multimedia installations -- stretching over 15 rooms.

Since 2009, people can find 15 Chopin musical benches across Warsaw, which give the possibility of listening to Chopin's music by pressing on a button, and are located in places where the composer used to spend time while in the city.

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