Clara Schumann (1819–1896)

How to say the name:

‘Schumann’ is said like Shoe-man. ‘Clara’ is said like ‘Clar-ra’ (like ‘Car-ra’, but with an ‘l’).

Clara Schumann in old age

Born:

13th September 1819 in Leipzig, Germany.

Died:

20th May 1896 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Buried:

Alter Friedhof (Old Cemetery) in Bonn, Germany (in the same grave as her husband, Robert Schumann—see the Robert Schumann page for a picture of the grave).

Type of Music:

Classical music from the romantic period.

Some of Her Best pieces:
  • Piano Concerto. (See below for a video.)
  • Piano Trio Op. 17 (See the composers page for a video.)
  • Several songs.
Some interesting facts:
  • She is one of the very few women composers from a long time ago that most musicians have heard of.
  • She was born Clara Wieck (said like ‘Veek’).
  • He father, Friedrich Wieck, was a famous piano teacher.
  • She married the composer Robert Schumann, although her father didn’t want her to.
  • She was a very good piano player (pianist).
  • She has had a great effect on the way piano concerts are done. For example, she was one of the first pianists to play music from memory.
  • She earned most of the money in the Schumann household (very unusual at the time!). She did this by playing the piano and teaching.
  • Brahms was in love with her. He even looked after her children while she played at concerts!
  • She had a lot of sadness in her life. Her husband died many years before her, and four of her eight children died before her as well.
  • After her husband died, she mainly played his pieces at concerts.
  • She composed nothing after the age of 36. In later life she said, “I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose—there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?”. Don’t you think this is so sad? :-(

Here is a video of the beginning of Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto (I couldn’t find a video where you can see musicians playing this music).

First movement of Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Op. 7

And here is a video of a very beautiful Romance for violin and piano by Clara Schumann.

Clara Schumann’s Romance Op. 22 No. 1

There is another video of music by Clara Schumann on the following page:

Picture credits:
  1. Clara Schumann. This photograph is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Clara Schumann in old age. This photograph is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Clara Schumann Pianoconcerto in A minor, Op. 7 – Allegro maestoso. Clara (Wieck) Schumann Pianoconcerto in A minor, Op. 7 – first movement, Allegro maestoso. Unknown performers.
  2. Vladimir Tsypin (violin) and Patricia Vila (piano): Romance Opus 22 #1. The person who posted this on YouTube simple writes: Clara Schumann (1819-1896).

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