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Introduction To The Composer | Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann was born on June 8th, 1810, in Zwickau, Saxony, Germany.

His father was a writer and bookseller who encouraged Robert’s love of literature, which remained evident throughout most of his life.

Through the urging of his mother, he studied law at the University of Leipzig until 1830 when he quit to devote his time completely to music.

In 1833, at the age of 23 he partnered to form a music journal titled, “The New Music Journal”, in which he served as sole editor from 1835 to 1844.

Much against her father’s wishes, Schumann married the daughter of his piano teacher, Clara Wieck, who was an extremely talented and already established pianist, in 1840.

This marriage marked the beginning of a partnership well ahead of its time in which both Robert and Clara Schumann attempted to balance their relationship with each other with their successful music careers.

As a music critic, he was quick to dismiss the adoration of fellow musicians whom he considered inferior, yet was the first to recognize and praise the genius of musicians such as Frederic Chopin and Johannes Brahms.

A master of the character piece, Robert Schumann gained notoriety by his ability to set a scene and portray an emotion within only the first few measures of a composition.

Many of his works featured creative and imaginative titles such as “Scenes From Childhood”, “Carnaval”, and “Butterflies”.

Being the Romantic composer that he was, he often signed many of his critiques with whimsical names such as Florestan, which represented the out-going and impetuous side of his personality, and Eusebius, which portrayed his introverted and melancholic qualities.

After a failed suicide attempt in 1854, in which he attempted to drown himself in the river Rhine, he began showing signs of insanity which included hallucinations, voices in his head, and lose of memory, and was committed to an insane asylum.

He died two years later on July 29th, 1856, at the age of 46.

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