9/13/1819 - 5/20/1896
Born in Germany
Before she was even born, Clara Schumann's father had determined that she would be a star at the keyboard. Her father, Fredrich Wieck, was a piano teacher, and he saw to it that she studied music, performed and composed – all at an early age. Clara toured all over Europe, wowing audiences with her playing, and her compositions.
When Clara fell in love with Robert Schumann, who was studying with her father, Friedrich Wieck tried hard to stop them from getting married. It took years -- and a court battle -- before Robert and Clara could finally get married. But Clara and Robert Schumann became one of the greatest musical partnerships of all time. She gave the first performance of many of his pieces, including his piano concerto and was a tremendous influence on his music. She also premiered works by Chopin and Brahms. Even though she gave birth to eight children, and had great family responsibilities, Robert encouraged her compose. When Robert got sick, and after his early death, Clara supported her family by giving concerts and teaching. She continued to perform into her 70’s.
Listen to a special show about Clara Schumann.