Manuel Gregorio Tavárez Ropero (1843 – 1883), was Puerto Rico's classical and danza composer. He has been called "The Chopin of America". Tavárez became an accomplished pianist at an early age. He was able to enroll and study music in the Music Conservatory of Paris at the age of 15. While in France, Tavárez suffered a stroke which left his hand partially paralyzed. Tavárez returned to Puerto Rico because of his health problems. He settled down in Ponce where he gave piano lessons. He was able to overcome his health problems and began to put on musical concerts of his compositions.