Clara Schumann
German musician, pianist composer
Clara Schumann
Clara Schumann was a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was the composer Robert Schumann.
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Clara Schumann's personal information overview.
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BRAHMS: Complete Piano Music Vol. 3 – Late Piano Works = Fantasien, Op. 116 ... - Audiophile Audition
Google News - over 5 years
1, which Clara Schumann aptly called “a gray pearl.” Hardy Rittner and his 1870 Streicher imbue this work with an especially pearly lambency. So while there is much to admire and enjoy here, Rittner's performances can't possibly be the last word in
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Museum and Gallery Listings for Aug. 26-Sept. 1 - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
(Cotter) 'Dara Birnbaum: Arabesque' (closes on Friday) This veteran media artist's latest show at the gallery explores the intertwined careers and divergent legacies of the husband-and-wife Romantic composers Robert and Clara Schumann
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Around Our Towns - Minuteman News Center
Google News - over 5 years
The fascinating story of Clara Schumann will be highlighted on Friday, Sept. 16, with the movie “Song of Love.” Katherine Hepburn won the Academy Award for best actress in her unforgettable performance as Clara Schumann, a world famous concert pianist
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Clara/Clara is a well-intended production - Straight.com
Google News - over 5 years
Continues until August 20 Clara/Clara, a show about the great pianist and wife of Robert Schumann at the new Vancouver Symphony School of Music, splits Clara Schumann (born Wieck) into the virtuoso musician and the later keeper of the flame who wore
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Around Our Towns - Minuteman News Center
Google News - over 5 years
The fascinating story of Clara Schumann will be highlighted on Friday, Sept. 16, with the movie “Song of Love.” Katherine Hepburn won the Academy Award for best actress in her unforgettable performance as Clara Schumann, a world famous concert pianist
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The two sides of Clara Schumann - Aldergrove Star
Google News - over 5 years
“She looks incredibly like Clara Schumann, and she's an excellent musician.” “I love Robert Schumann's music, and this play gives me the chance to sing it,” said Wong. Paulson calls her play, the second offering from her company Song Drama Productions,
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Former Seattle Opera singer spins genre-bending story - Bellingham Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Clara Schumann is a composer herself, and one of the most celebrated pianists of her day. Although she is 14 years older than Brahms, it is clear that the younger man is besotted with her and Kristian can see why: she is captivating
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ART IN REVIEW; Dara Birnbaum: 'Arabesque'
NYTimes - over 5 years
Marian Goodman Gallery 24 West 57th Street, Manhattan Through Aug. 26 The veteran media artist Dara Birnbaum is back at Marian Goodman with a provocative mix of early and recent work (including her first foray into YouTube). Ms. Birnbaum emerged in the late 1970s with videos that cleverly edited television programs to expose their promulgation of
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DARA BIRNBAUM: 'Arabesque' - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
The title piece of her latest show at the gallery, “Arabesque,” explores the intertwined careers and divergent legacies of the husband-and-wife Romantic composers Robert and Clara Schumann. Taking the form of a large, multichannel video installation,
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Review: Daniel Hope electrifies Brahms and the Romantics - San Jose Mercury News
Google News - over 5 years
Hope explained to the audience that it was Joachim who introduced young Brahms to Robert and Clara Schumann, setting in motion one of the 19th century's most complicated (and creatively fertile) triangular relationships
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Review: Epic Brahms rescues Music@Menlo program - San Jose Mercury News
Google News - over 5 years
The sextet was preceded by three works -- by JS Bach, Clara Schumann and Vivaldi -- which seemed almost randomly assembled, none evoking a "veiled" symphony or doing much to explain the emergence of Brahms' colossal skills. He turned 27 in 1860,
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The Listings
NYTimes - over 5 years
Classical Full reviews of recent music performances: nytimes.com/classical. Opera Martina Arroyo Foundation (Friday through Sunday) This training organization's earnest, likable productions generally feature modest sets and costumes; the real enticement is hearing gifted young singers honing their craft under the guidance of seasoned professionals.
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Ketchum plays Cassatt in one-woman show - Santa Rosa Press Democrat (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
She toured nationally with her show about 19th-century artist Marie Cassatt as early as the 1980s. Her other one-person plays, “Clara Schumann: 19th-Century Pianist” and “Magdalene: The Mary Magdalene Story,” have played throughout the East and West
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July 10 — 16 - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
The Saturday program is co-ed: Clara Schumann's Trio is the heart of the program, and the violist Andrew Gonzalez joins the group for piano quartets by Robert Schumann and Mozart. 8 pm, Fulton Ferry Landing next to the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn,
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At the Ravinia Festival, A Liszt of Subtle Works - Wall Street Journal
Google News - over 5 years
To the elderly, conservative Clara Schumann, Liszt was "a smasher of pianos,'' while the Wagnerite conductor Hermann Levi dismissed him as "an inspired charlatan." To some degree such invective countered the unbridled hype characterized by this
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This month's Gramophone magazine - Gramophone
Google News - over 5 years
Also in the issue, soprano Miah Persson talks to Richard Fairman ahead of her release of songs by Robert and Clara Schumann on BIS, and we wonder why she's not already a household name (and conclude it won't be long now before she is)
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Victoria Conservatory of Music kicks off summer series - Victoria Times Colonist
Google News - over 5 years
On Tuesday evening, pianist Heather Lindstedt will offer a thematically unified program devoted to the music of Brahms and of Robert and Clara Schumann, Brahms's mentors and intimate friends. And on Wednesday evening, pianists Roger Buksa and Anna Cal
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Clara Schumann
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1896
    Age 76
    She suffered a stroke on 26 March 1896, dying on 20 May at age 76.
    More Details Hide Details She is buried at Bonn's Alter Friedhof (Old Cemetery) with her husband. Although for many years after her death Clara Schumann was not widely recognized as a composer, as a pianist she made an impression which lasts until today. She was one of the first pianists to perform from memory, making that the standard for concertizing. Trained by her father to play by ear and to memorize, she gave public performances from memory as early as age thirteen, a fact noted as something exceptional by her reviewers. She was also instrumental in changing the kind of programs expected of concert pianists. In her early career, before her marriage to Robert, she played what was then customary, mainly bravura pieces designed to showcase the artist's technique, often in the form of arrangements or variations on popular themes from operas, written by virtuosos such as Thalberg, Herz, or Henselt. And, as it was also customary to play one's own compositions, she included at least one of her own works in every program, works such as her Variations on a Theme by Bellini (Op. 8) and her popular Scherzo (Op. 10). However, as she became a more independent artist, her repertoire contained mainly music by leading composers.
  • 1895
    Age 75
    In fact, Clara's compositional output decreased notably after she reached the age of thirty-six. The only completed compositions that exist from later in her life do not have opus numbers and are: Vorspiele (Improvisations), 1895, and cadenzas written to two concertos, one by Mozart and the other by Beethoven.
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  • 1891
    Age 71
    Clara Schumann played her last public concert in Frankfurt on 12 March 1891.
    More Details Hide Details The last work she played was Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn, in the piano-duet version. Her partner was James Kwast.
  • 1887
    Age 67
    She was more impressed with Richard Strauss's early Symphony in F minor in 1887.
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  • 1885
    Age 65
    She held Anton Bruckner, whose 7th Symphony she heard in 1885, in very low esteem.
    More Details Hide Details She wrote to Brahms, describing it as "a horrible piece".
  • FIFTIES
  • 1878
    Age 58
    In 1878 she was appointed teacher of the piano at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, a post she held until 1892 and in which she contributed greatly to the improvement of modern piano playing technique.
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  • 1870
    Age 50
    She was initially interested in the works of Liszt, but later developed an outright hostility to him. She ceased to play any of his works; she suppressed her husband's dedication to Liszt of his Fantasie in C major when she published Schumann's complete works; and she refused to attend a Beethoven centenary festival in Vienna in 1870 when she heard that Liszt and Richard Wagner would be participating.
    More Details Hide Details She was particularly scathing of Wagner. Of Tannhäuser, she said that he "wears himself out in atrocities"; she described Lohengrin as "horrible"; and she wrote that Tristan und Isolde was "the most repugnant thing I have ever seen or heard in all my life". She also wrote that Wagner had spoken of Robert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms in a "scornful" way.
  • FORTIES
  • 1867
    Age 47
    In January 1867 Clara and Joachim took a tour to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, along with Piatti, Ries, and Zerbini, two English sisters named Pyne, one a singer, and a Mr. Saunders who managed all the arrangements.
    More Details Hide Details Clara was accompanied by her oldest daughter Marie, who wrote from Manchester to her friend Rosalie Leser that in Edinburgh Clara "was received with tempestuous applause and had to give an encore, so had Joachim. Piatti, too, is always tremendously liked." Marie also wrote that "For the longer journeys we had a saloon car, comfortably furnished with arm-chairs and sofas... the journey... was very comfortable." On this occasion, the musicians were not "treated as inferiors"! In her early years her repertoire, selected by her father, was showy and popular, in the style common to the time, with works by Kalkbrenner, Henselt, Thalberg, Herz, Pixis, Czerny, and her own compositions. Concert programs from 1831 through 1889 (some 2000 of them) were preserved and information from them has been arranged in order of year performed. Pieces for solo piano, or for piano and one other instrument, will not be listed.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1857
    Age 37
    In October–November 1857 Clara and Joachim took a recital tour together to Dresden and Leipzig.
    More Details Hide Details St. James's Hall, London, which opened in 1858, hosted a series of "Popular Concerts" of chamber music, of which programs from 1867 through 1904 are preserved. Joachim visited London annually beginning in 1866. Clara also spent a few months of many years in London and participated in Popular Concerts with Joachim and Piatti. Most often on the same concert programmes would be second violinist Joseph Ries and violist J. B. Zerbini. George Bernard Shaw, the leading playwright who was also a music critic, wrote that the Popular Concerts helped greatly to spread and enlighten musical taste in England. Playing chamber music bypassed the issues Clara had with English orchestra conductors.
  • 1856
    Age 36
    In May 1856 she played Robert's Piano Concerto in A minor with the New Philharmonic Society conducted by a Dr. Wylde, who Clara said had "led a dreadful rehearsal" and "could not grasp the rhythm of the last movement."
    More Details Hide Details Still, she returned to London the following year and performed in Britain in over 15 years of her career.
    Clara first went to England in April 1856, while Robert was still living (but unable to travel).
    More Details Hide Details She was invited to play in a London Philharmonic Society concert by conductor William Sterndale Bennett, a good friend of Robert's. Clara was displeased with the little time spent on rehearsals: "They call it a rehearsal here, if a piece is played through once." She wrote that musical "artists" in England "allow themselves to be treated as inferiors." She was happy, though, to hear the cellist Alfredo Piatti play with "a tone, a bravura, a certainty, such as I never heard before."
  • 1854
    Age 34
    In 1854, her husband Robert had a mental collapse, attempted suicide, and was committed to an insane asylum for the last two years of his life.
    More Details Hide Details In 1872 her daughter Julie died, leaving two small children aged only 2 and 7. In 1879, her son Felix died, aged 25. In 1891, her son Ferdinand died, at the age of 42. Clara was required to raise Felix's children as he was no longer married. Her son Ludwig suffered from mental illness like his father and, in her words, had to be "buried alive" in an institution. She herself became deaf in later life and she often needed a wheelchair. Clara and Robert's oldest child, their daughter, Marie, was of great support and help to Clara. When she was of age, she took over the position of household cook. It was Marie who dissuaded Clara from continuing to burn letters she had written to Brahms and he had returned, requesting that she destroy them. Another daughter, Eugenie, who had been too young to remember Robert, wrote a book on the Schumanns and Brahms.
    In March 1854, Brahms, Joachim, Albert Dietrich, and Julius Otto Grimm spent time with Clara, playing music for or with her to divert her mind from the tragedy.
    More Details Hide Details Robert died 29 July 1856.
    Robert attempted suicide in February 1854 and then was committed to an asylum for the last two years of his life.
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  • 1853
    Age 33
    Inspired by her husband's birthday, the three Romances were composed in 1853 and dedicated to Joseph Joachim, who performed them for George V of Hanover.
    More Details Hide Details He declared them a "marvellous, heavenly pleasure". Clara was the authoritative editor of her husband's works for the publishing firm of Breitkopf & Härtel. She has been depicted on screen numerous times. Possibly the best known is by Katharine Hepburn in the 1947 film Song of Love, in which Paul Henreid played Robert Schumann and Robert Walker starred as a young Johannes Brahms. She was also portrayed in the 2008 Franco-German-Hungarian film Geliebte Clara. And in 1954, Loretta Young portrayed Clara on The Loretta Young Show: The Clara Schumann Story in Season 1, Episode 26 (first aired 21 March 1954) in which Clara Schumann supports the composing career of her husband Robert played by George Nader, alongside Loretta Young, Shelley Fabares and Carleton G. Young.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1847
    Age 27
    Clara's first son Emil died in infancy in 1847, aged only one.
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  • 1845
    Age 25
    A year later she wrote in her diary that in a concert on Nov. 11, 1845 "little Joachim was very much liked.
    More Details Hide Details He played a new violin concerto of Mendelssohn's, which is said to be wonderful". In May 1853 they heard Joachim play the solo part in Beethoven's violin concerto. Clara wrote that he played "with a finish, a depth of poetic feeling, his whole soul in every note, so ideally, that I have never heard violin-playing like it, and I can truly say that I have never received so indelible an impression from any virtuoso." From that time there was a friendship between Clara and Joachim, which "for more than forty years never failed Clara in things great or small, never wavered in its loyalty." Over her career, Clara gave "over 238" concerts with Joachim in Germany and Britain, "more than with any other artist." "The two were particularly noted for their playing of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano." Also in the spring of 1853, the then unknown 20-year-old Brahms met Joachim (only a few years older, but by then an acknowledged virtuoso) in Hanover, made a very favorable impression on him, and got from him a letter of introduction to Robert Schumann. Brahms went and presented himself at the Schumanns' home in Düsseldorf. He played some of his own piano solo compositions. Both Schumanns were deeply impressed. Robert published an article highly lauding Brahms. Clara wrote in the diary that Brahms "seemed as if sent straight from God."
  • 1844
    Age 24
    She and Robert first met violinist Joseph Joachim in November 1844, when he was just of age 14.
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  • 1840
    Age 20
    In 1840, despite Friedrich's objections, Clara and Robert were married.
    More Details Hide Details They maintained a joint musical diary.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1837
    Age 17
    In 1837 when she was 18, he proposed to her and she accepted.
    More Details Hide Details Then Robert asked Friedrich for Clara's hand in marriage. Wieck was strongly opposed to the marriage, as he did not much approve of Robert, and did not give permission. Robert and Clara had to go to court and sue Friedrich. The judge's decision was to allow the marriage.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1830
    Age 10
    Robert was a little more than 9 years older than Clara and moved into the Wieck household as a piano student of Friedrich's by the end of 1830 when she was only 11 and he was 20.
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    In 1830, at the age of eleven, Clara left on a concert tour to Paris via other European cities, accompanied by her father.
    More Details Hide Details She gave her first solo concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. In Weimar, she performed a bravura piece by Henri Herz for Goethe, who presented her with a medal with his portrait and a written note saying: "For the gifted artist Clara Wieck". During that tour, Niccolò Paganini was in Paris, and he offered to appear with her. However, her Paris recital was poorly attended, as many people had fled the city due to an outbreak of cholera. From December 1837 to April 1838, Clara Wieck performed a series of recitals in Vienna when she was 18. Franz Grillparzer, Austria's leading dramatic poet, wrote a poem entitled "Clara Wieck and Beethoven" after hearing Wieck perform the Appassionata sonata during one of these recitals. Wieck performed to sell-out crowds and laudatory critical reviews; Benedict Randhartinger, a friend of Franz Schubert (1797–1828), gave Wieck an autographed copy of Schubert's Erlkönig, inscribing it "To the celebrated artist, Clara Wieck." Frédéric Chopin described her playing to Franz Liszt, who came to hear one of Wieck's concerts and subsequently "praised her extravagantly in a letter that was published in the Parisian Revue et Gazette Musicale and later, in translation, in the Leipzig journal Neue Zeitschrift für Musik." On 15 March, Wieck was named a Königliche und Kaiserliche Kammervirtuosin ("Royal and Imperial Chamber Virtuoso"), Austria's highest musical honor.
  • 1828
    Age 8
    In March 1828, at the age of eight, the young Clara Wieck performed at the Leipzig home of Dr. Ernst Carus, director of the mental hospital at Colditz Castle.
    More Details Hide Details There she met another gifted young pianist who had been invited to the musical evening, named Robert Schumann, who was nine years older. Schumann admired Clara's playing so much that he asked permission from his mother to discontinue his law studies, which had never interested him much, and take music lessons with Clara's father. While taking lessons, he took rooms in the Wieck household, staying about a year. He would sometimes dress up as a ghost and scare Clara, and this created a bond.
  • 1824
    Age 4
    After an affair between Clara's mother and Adolph Bargiel, her father's friend, the Wiecks divorced in 1824 and Marianne married Bargiel.
    More Details Hide Details Five-year-old Clara remained with her father. From an early age, Clara's career and life was planned down to the smallest detail by her father. She daily received a one-hour lesson (in piano, violin, singing, theory, harmony, composition, and counterpoint) and two hours of practice, using the teaching methods he had developed on his own.
  • 1819
    Born
    Clara Josephine Wieck was born in Leipzig on 13 September 1819 to Friedrich Wieck and Marianne Wieck (née Tromlitz).
    More Details Hide Details Marianne Tromlitz was a famous singer in Leipzig at the time and was singing solos on a weekly basis at the well-known Gewandhaus in Leipzig. The differences between her parents were irreconcilable, in large part due to her father's unyielding nature.
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