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Clara Schumann

Born Clara Wieck in Leipzig on September 13, 1819, Clara Schumann received early musical training from her father, Friedrich Wieck (one of the leading German pedagogues of the day). She performed widely as a child prodigy, having mastered an impressive repertoire by her early teens. In 1840, over the objections of her father, she married Robert Schumann. In addition to raising eight children, Clara also became the leading advocate of her husband's piano music. After Schumann's death in 1856, Clara continued concertizing in Germany and England, favoring the major works of all the Austro-German masters plus selected pieces by Chopin. She became much sought-after as a teacher, and from 1878 until her death in 1896 she taught at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. Clara also prepared and edited a complete edition of her husband's piano compositions. In her early days she composed a concerto, a trio, and numerous solo pieces; these have received increasing attention from pianists and scholars in recent years.