13 Sept 1819 - 20 May 1896 age 77

Clara Schumann was one of the top concert pianists of the 19th century, some ranked her as good as Liszt.
She was also a talented composer but in deference to her composer husband Robert she concentrated on performing and on raising their 8 children.

Like her husband she was a champion of young composers including Chopin and Brahms.







portrait of Clara Schumann


Born: Clara Josephine Wieck, 13 Sept 1819, Leipzig.
Father: Friedrich Wieck 1785 - 1873), piano teacher and music dealer.
Mother: Marianne Tromlitz, soprano.
Stepmother: Clementine Fechner
Siblings: She was the second of five children.
Husband: Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Children: Four daughters and four sons: Marie, Elise, Julie, Emil, Ludwig, Ferdinand, Eugenie and lastly Felix.
Died: 20 May 1896, Frankfurt. (age 77)
Cause of death: stroke.
Grave: Alter Friedhof, Bonn, Germany (with her husband) see findagrave


Period: Early German Romantic
Output: 66 compositions
Influenced by: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Schubert, Robert Schumann
Influenced: Brahms, Robert Schumann, Smetana.
20 pieces for solo piano
4 works for piano and orchestra
29 songs
various chamber works.
: numerous concert tours all over Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia. She made tours to England.
Teaching: She also taught piano from home, especially in her later years.

Song of Love
1947 MGM movie about Robert and Clara. The opening scene has Clara, played by Katherine Hepburn, playing a Liszt concerto (played in fact by Artur Rubinstein) . Hepburn studied the piano and this piece in order to be able to give a very credible acting performance.

Career and brief biography

- Age 6: parents divorce. Her father gives her lessons including piano, violin, composition and theory of music.
- Age 9: Robert Schumann (age 18) meets her father.
Clara gives her first public concert in Leipzig.
- Age 11: Robert Schumann begins study with her father and takes up lodgings in their house.
Clara gives her first solo concert and composes her first work for the piano.
- Age 13 - 16: Concert tours in Germany and France with her father.
- Age 16: She completes her First Piano Concerto. Robert Schumann starts to court her but her father opposes the relationship.
- Age 18: Robert and Clara get engaged but her father refuses permission, thus beginning a 3 year feud. She continues her concert career with tours of Austria and France.
- Age 21: The day before her 21st birthday the Court gives permisssion for her to marry Robert. They set up house in Leipzig.
- Age 22: Birth of daughter Marie. Concert tours including Denmark.
- Age 24: Birth of daughter Elise. Concert tour of Russia with Robert. Moves house to Dresden, Germany.
- Age 26 - 29: Birth of daughter Julie, son Emil (who died at one year old), and son Ludwig.
- Age 31: Family moves to Dusseldorf where Robert is made director of The Dusseldorf Orchestra. Birth of daughter Eugenie.
- Age 34: Brahms (age 20) visits them, the start of a lifelong friendship. Robert sacked from his directorship. Concert tour of Holland with Robert.
- Age 35: Robert tries to kill himself by jumping into the Rhine and is put into a mental asylum where he remains until he dies. Clara starts a series of intensive concert tours in Germany, Hungary, England, Austria and France.
- Age 37: Robert dies, age 46.
- Age 38 - 43: Moves family to Berlin. Tours England, Switzerland, Holland, France, Belgium.
- Age 44 - 52 Moves family to Baden-Baden. More and more concert tours including Russia and Eastern Europe.
- Age 53: Daughter Julie dies, aged 27. Concerts in England and Brussels.
- Age 54: Her father dies. Moves her family back to Berlin. More tours.
- Age 59: Moves to Frankfurt to teach piano at the Hoch Conservatory.
- Age 60: Her son Felix dies, age 25.
- Age 60 - 70: More concert tours.
- Age 72: Her son Ferdinand dies, age 42. She teaches piano from home.
- Age 77: Suffers a stroke at home and dies two months later.

Google's Doodle of Clara Schumann

An accompanying article in London's Guardian neswpaper.

Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.7,mvt.3
Monique Rasetti, piano

Romance 1 op. 11

Piano Trio
played by Itamar Gali & Raz

Elisabeth Goell, soprano and Lauretta Bloomer, piano


"I cannot give a single concert at which I do not play one piece after the other in an agony of terror because my memory threatens to fail me. This fear torments me for days beforehand."

"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?"

"Why hurry over beautiful things? Why not linger and enjoy them?"

"If I have known much trouble in my youth, I have also known much joy."

"I do not want horses or diamonds - I am happy in possessing you."

(Read more Clara quotes at Brainyquote )

Links, sources and where to go for more information

Answers.com a collection of reference sites including Wikipedia

Piano Society interesting bio

DSO Kids A children's introduction

KidsMusicCorner a music site for schoolchildren

Pinterest more images of Clara

If you would like to recommend a website please go to submit a URL
Or you can submit your own content at 'Your Contributions'

New! Comments

Feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

Custom Search

poster, prints, cards and  gifts
Click on image for buying information