Robert Schumann (1810–1856)

How to say the name:

‘Schumann’ is said like Shoe-man. ‘Robert’ is easy to say.

Born:

8th June 1810 in Zwickau, Saxony, Germany.

Schumann’s grave in Bonn

Died:

29th July 1856 in Bonn, Germany.

Buried:

Alter Friedhof (Old Cemetery) in Bonn, Germany (in the same grave as his wife Clara Schumann).

Type of Music:

Classical music from the romantic period.

A famous piece:
  • Träumerei (Dreaming) from Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) for the piano. (See below for a video.)
Some Great Pieces:
  • Piano Concerto. (See below for a video.)
  • Piano Quintet in E flat, Op. 44.
  • Many songs.
  • Many piano pieces, such as Papillons (Butterflies), Carnaval, Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) and Kreisleriana.
Some interesting facts:
  • His piano concerto is one of the most famous piano concertos of all time!
  • He was taught by the famous piano teacher, Friederich Wieck, who became his father-in-law.
  • His wife, Clara Schumann, was also a composer!,
  • Clara’s father did not want Schumann to marry her. Schumann even went to court to try and get permission!
  • He tried a shortcut to getting better at playing the piano—he tied weights to his fingers when he practiced! Unfortunately this damaged his fingers and he was never able to play properly again!
  • Until 1839 he only composed music for the piano.
  • After 1839 he suddenly wrote lots of songs. Some of these songs are among the greatest songs ever written.
  • He tried to kill himself in 1854 and spent the rest of his life in a hospital for mentally ill people. 🙁

Here is a video of the beginning of Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

The beginning of Schumann’s Piano Concerto

And here is a video of Schumann’s Träumerei (Dreaming) from Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood). I think this video shows the idea of ‘Dreaming’ very well, don’t you?

Schumann’s Träumerei (Dreaming)

Picture credits:
  1. Robert Schumann. This is a lithograph by Joseph Kriehuber from 1839. The image is in the public domain. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
  2. Schumann’s grave in Bonn. This photograph may be used freely, although the photographer would like to be informed. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information and contact details for the photographer.
Video credits:
  1. Martha Argerich plays Schumann piano concerto – medici.tv. Martha Argerich plays Schumann piano concerto in A minor with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. Watch the full concert in High Resolution on medici.tv : http://www.medici.tv/#/movie/62/.
  2. Yundi Li- Traumerei. Yundi Li plays “Traumerei”.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 melissa 14th November 2011

i think this website is helpful for people who need composer info 4 project

2 lacee radmall 23rd January 2015

that’s an interesting story

3 cameron 8th March 2016

i like robert schuman

4 Taylor K 28th March 2016

That’s really sad that he damaged his fingers and couldn’t play again. He has a really sad story in general though. 🙁

5 Audras 5th April 2016

Wow that is a cool story! Thanks for doing this website

6 Audras 5th April 2016

I love the songs that are on this website too! So awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 Alex L 25th November 2016

I need to do a project on a composer and this gave me more than half of the information I needed! Thanks!

8 Bryan 3rd February 2017

It is pretty interesting how Schumann would write the Album for the Young with such vigor and excellence that although he endured many problems such as his hand injury, and marriage problems.

9 Megan T 12th May 2017

It’s so sad how he hurt his finger and maybe couldn’t play ever again.

10 Roxandra 17th May 2017

I love Robert Schumann music and his a great composer.

11 july 24th May 2017

this is really helping me with my book report for school thx!

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