June 17, 2009
|I became interested in Chopin when I was 15. Actually my private piano teachers did not teach my any Chopin until then. Initially I just wanted to make the website a place to gather and exchange information and resources about Chopin because I had very limited access to any hard copy of his work to practice.|
Through the website, I was getting to know more friends and could obtain more CDs and music sheets. One of the first friends I met was Minh Khoa, who actually lived a little close to my home, owned many score editions of Chopin's music, and later created the questions for quizzes 4 and 6 on my website. Over years, I sent CD prizes to winners of the quizzes and contests, kept the website updated, and maintained interactions among visitors. I also had a chance to keep in touch with Angela Lear, a classical pianist and Chopin scholar from the U.K. who had undertaken extensive research into Chopinís manuscripts to provide an interpretation of Chopin's works as the Master intended.
I first hosted my website at the free yahoo-geocities server http://www.geocities.com/fredericchopin. Since I did not have any programming or computer graphic design experience, I used Frontpage to build a very simple website (with a similar structure as the current one). At that time people did not care much about how pretty a website looks but how much content it has.
Through time, I realized that the website needed a face lift. So I taught myself Photoshop and flash, and was able to make it look better than the primitive version. In 2006, I moved my website to the current domain. Since then, I keep updating my website with more and more information on Chopinís life and work. One of the most ambitious project I have been working on and I hope to finish by 2010 is the analyses of all Chopinís works. It now seems impossible since I am doing this by myself and at the same time I also have a doctoral dissertation to write.
I actually paid attention to applying for awards since 2008. The award programs were very helpful in improving the design, navigation, and compliance. I was very happy that my website is the recipient of "Website of the year 2008" award by two World's Top Awards: O.N.Z.C.D.A. and Internet Beacon Award in January 2009. My website has always been at the top of the list in the Open Directory Project, even before I became the editor for the Chopin category in November 2008.Paying homage to Chopin, I have visited several historic sites related to the composer in Warsaw and Paris during my European conference travels. It has been a worthwhile experience for me as I feel closer to Chopin and more appreciative of his creation.
You may find some other information (some old) and my Chopin travel photos.
|The Brothers Grinn|
(Denny Lancaster and Bernie Howe)