It is strange, with American Polonia being so patriotic and so attached to the Old Country, to find such a dearth of Chopin monuments in the U.S. So far, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Chicago are on the list.
Even Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, has its Chopin statue. The Monumento a Federico Chopin is located in Jardín Chopin on Avenue Alcalde (colonia de Barranquidas), 44260 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. It was unveiled in 2001 to honor the beloved composer, described as the father of modern music, a romantic, poet of the piano, and an artist apart.
Let's listen to some Mazurkas, then: the most nostalgic, in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4, as played by a Polish emigre pianist, Arthur Rubinstein, or in A Minor, Op. 7, No. 2 played by Henryk Sztompka:
In 1963, a monument of Chopin was created by Fernando Corona for Porto Alegre in southern Brazil; it was unveiled on 15 November that year. For those who have not been to Brazil (including me), Porto Alegre is the capital and largest city in Brazil's state of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost part of the country.
It does not seem that the sculptor knew many images of Chopin nor that he had any other purpose of portraying the Polish composers than adding him to the list of illustrious Europeans celebrated in South America. Perhaps a group of local Poles could polish this symbol of musical Polishness? (Sorry, could not avoid the bad pun).
Unfortunately, that's all I know. Maybe some of my readers can help and send a more detailed account of this sculpture's history. Let's conclude a visit to Buenos Aires with a recording by Martha Argerich, who won the International Chopin Competition in 1965. There are so many excellent interpretations: maybe you have time for a lyrical and expressive Ballade (No. 1, Op. 23, in G Minor, 8 and a half minutes), if you want more, how about the series of Preludes, Op. 28 (over half an hour of music) or a Piano Concerto No. 1 (played with a Polish orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, conducted by Grzegorz Nowak)? For those with absolutely no time, there is always the two-minute classic 1965 recording of the electrifying performance of the Etude in C Major, Op. 10 No. 1 that gave the unknown Argentinian first prize in a Competition by default skewed towards Slavic men.
Thus we traversed the Americas, from the north to the south, finding many more Chopins in the Latin-inspired countries of South America than in the cold, Protestant U.S. Perhaps my sources are missing monuments that I should have known about but do not. Again, a request to my readers.
In the meantime, let's look up and find Chopin immortalized in the sky, millions of miles away...
The Asteroid 3784 Chopin was first seen on October 31, 1986, photographed from the Haute-Provence Observatory in France, by Eric Walter Elst, a Belgian astronomer and a prolific finder of asteroids: he spotted over 3,000 of them! We do not know where does it fall on the asteroid scale of sizes reproduced above. The largest of these asteroids, Vesta, is the size of a pea, when compared to a golf-ball of the Moon. Pretty tiny!
Chopin on Mercury
There is another astronomical site dedicated to Chopin: The Chopin Crater on the planet Mercury. With a diameter of 129 kilometers. and located at 65.1°S 123.1°W, this crater was named after the Polish composer by the International Astronomical Union in 1976.
Chopin is in pretty good company here. There are 398 craters named after historical figures from all countries and cultures (see the site Planetary Names: Mercury: Craters). I spotted the names of numerous composers, among writers, poets, artists, painters and philosophers, mostly male. The forty seven composers are: Johann Sebastian Bach, Bela Bartok, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Fryderyk Chopin, Piotr Czajkovskij (Tchaikovsky), Aaron Copland, Francois Couperin, Claude Debussy, Anton Dvorak, Duke Ellington, Mikhail Glinka, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Edward Grieg, Percy Grainger, Friedrich Handel, Joseph Haydn, Gustav Holst, Charles Ives, Leos Janacek, Scott Joplin, Krzysztof Komeda, John Lennon, Franz Liszt, Guillaume de Machaut, Gustav Mahler, Felix Mendelssohn, Thelonious Monk, Claudio Monteverdi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgski, Sergei Prokofiev, Giacomo Puccini, Henry Purcell, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Domenico Scarlatti, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Schubert, Jean Sibelius, Bedrich Smetana, John Phillip Sousa, Tansen (from the Mogul Court in India), Giuseppe Verdi, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Antonio Vivaldi, and Richard Wagner.
The list of all musicians I noticed is interesting, in its heavy reliance on the Western canon, with a spattering of "others" - including some jazz musicians. Neither Louis Armstrong, nor Ella Fitzgerald, nor Miles Davis made it to the list. Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington did, and so did the only Polish composer, besides Chopin, jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda (who, among other titles, wrote music to Roman Polanski's film "Rosemary's Baby"). I wonder who made this list and what criteria were used. It seems that Russians played a major role in selecting these names, and so did the English. Vivaldi but no Palestrina? Verdi, but no Bellini or Rossini? Interesting...
So let us drink some tea, listen to Chopin's Berceuse played by Tatiana Shebanova (the most astounding image of a cosmic flight in all his music), and smell the roses!
NOTE: Since I have not visited any of these monuments myself, I thank all photography authors and sources of photographs, which are used here in accordance with non-commercial fair use open source principles of Wikipedia, and Wikimedia Commons, from where most of the photos are copied.