Composer of the Week: Clara SchumannClara Schumann (born Clara Josephine Wieck) was born in 1819 in Leipzig, Germany. She is considered one of the most important pianists of the Romantic period. Having been raised by her father alone since the time she was four, she was something of a child prodigy. In fact, she gave her first concert tour throughout Europe at the age of 11.
While Schumann was more known for her extraordinary piano skills (music critics as well as composers such as Chopin and Liszt were amazed at her playing), she was also married to Robert Schumann, who was a famous composer himself (they married in 1840). However, Robert Schumann died in 1856—meaning Clara performed and composed for 40 years after his death. It took until many years for Clara to become well regarded as a composer. However, she has been regarded as one of the greatest pianists since she was a young woman.Clara Schumann was a strong woman who ran the family’s finances when Robert became mentally ill. She was often very critical of other composers. In particular, she was critical of Wagner (she called the opera Lohengrin “horrible.” She also heavily criticized the composers Anton Bruckner and Franz Liszt (even though Liszt apparently thought she was a great pianist).
Map of Leipzig, Germany