- Clara Schumann - A Gift of Music [Biography]
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Clara Wieck Schumann

"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it."

Clara Josephine Wieck Schumann (September 13, 1819 - May 20, 1896), wife of composer Robert Schumann, trained from an early age by her father Friedrich Wieck, had a brilliant career as a pianist from the age of thirteen up to her marriage. In the various tours on which she accompanied her husband, she extended her own reputation beyond the borders of Germany, and it was thanks to her efforts that his compositions became generally known in Europe.

From the time of her husband's death she devoted herself principally to the interpretation of her husband's works, but when in 1856 she first visited England the critics received Schumann's music with a chorus of disapprobation. She returned to London in 1865 and continued her visits annually, with the exception of four seasons, until 1882; and from 1885 to 1888 she appeared each year. In 1878 she was appointed teacher of the piano at the Hoch Conservatorium at Frankfurt am Main, a post which she held until 1892, and in which she contributed greatly to the modern improvement in technique.

As an artist she will be remembered, together with Joseph Joachim, as one of the first executants who really played like composers. Besides being remembered for her eminence as a performer of nearly all kinds of pianoforte music, at a time when such technical ability was considerably rarer than in the present day, she was herself the composer of a few songs and of some charming music, mainly for the piano, and the authoritative editor of her husband's works for Breitkopf and Härtel.

contributed by Wikipedia

5 January 2004

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