Robert Schumann (June 08, 1810 - July 29, 1856)
Born: 8th June, 1810
Died: 29th July, 1856
Nationality: German
Profession/Occupation: Composer
Region: Zwickau, Germany
Notable works: "Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47", "Konzertstuck, Op. 86", "Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54", "Frauenliebe und -leben", "Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major", "Symphonic Studies", "Kreisleriana", "Rhenish Symphony", "New Journal for Music"

Robert Schumann Facts


Robert Schumann, in full Robert Alexander Schumann, (born June 8, 1810, Zwickau, Saxony [now in Germany]--died July 29, 1856, Endenich, near Bonn, Prussia [Germany]), German Romantic composer renowned particularly for his piano music, songs (lieder), and orchestral music. Many of his best-known piano pieces were written for his wife, the pianist Clara Schumann.

The early years

Schumann's father was a bookseller and publisher. After four years at a private school, the boy entered the Zwickau Gymnasium (high school) in 1820 and remained there for eight years. He began his musical education at the age of six, studying the piano. In 1827 he came under the musical influence of the Austrian composer Franz Schubert and the literary influence of the German poet Jean Paul Richter, and in the same year he composed some songs.

In 1828 Schumann left school and, under family pressure, reluctantly entered the University of Leipzig as a law student. But at Leipzig his time was devoted not to the law but to song composition, improvisation at the piano, and attempts to write novels. For a few months he studied the piano seriously with a celebrated teacher, Friedrich Wieck, and thus got to know Wieck's nine-year-old daughter Clara, a brilliant pianist who was just then beginning a successful concert career.

In the summer of 1829 he left Leipzig for Heidelberg. There he composed waltzes in the style of Franz Schubert, afterward used in his piano cycle Papillons (Opus 2; 1829-31), and practiced industriously with a view to abandoning law and becoming a virtuoso pianist--with the result that his mother agreed to allow him to return to Leipzig in October 1830 to study for a trial period with Wieck, who thought highly of his talent but doubted his stability and capacity for hard work.

Schumann's Opus 1, the Abegg Variations for piano, was published in 1831. An accident to one of the fingers of his right hand, which put an end to his hopes of a career as a virtuoso, was perhaps not an unmitigated misfortune, since it confined him to composition. For Schumann, this was a period of prolific composition in piano pieces, which were published either at once or, in revised forms, later. Among them were the piano cycles Papillons and Carnaval (composed 1833-35) and the Etudes symphoniques (1834-37; Symphonic Studies), another work consisting of a set of variations. In 1834 Schumann had become engaged to Ernestine von Fricken, but long before the engagement was formally broken off (Jan. 1, 1836) he had fallen in love with the then 16-year-old Clara Wieck. Clara returned his kisses but obeyed her father when he ordered her to break off the relationship. Schumann found himself abandoned for 16 months, during which he wrote the great Fantasy in C Major for piano and edited the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik (New Journal for Music), a periodical that he had helped to found in 1834 and of which he had been editor since early 1835. In 1837 Schumann formally asked Clara's father for permission to marry her, but Wieck evaded his request. The couple were finally married in 1840 after Schumann had gone to court to set aside Wieck's legal objection to the marriage.

The mature years

Schumann had by now entered upon one of his most fertile creative periods, producing a series of imaginative works for piano. Among these are the Davidsbundlertanze (composed 1837), Phantasiestucke (1837), Kinderszenen (1838; Scenes from Childhood), Kreisleriana (1838), Arabeske (1838), Humoreske (1838), Novelletten (1838), and Faschingsschwank aus Wien (1839-40; Carnival Jest from Vienna). Schumann wrote most of Faschingsschwank while on a visit to Vienna, during which he unearthed a number of manuscripts by Franz Schubert, including that of the Symphony in C Major (The Great). In 1840 Schumann returned to a field he had neglected for nearly 12 years, that of the solo song; in the space of 11 months (February-December 1840) he composed nearly all the songs on which much of his reputation rests: the cycles Myrthen (Myrtles), the two Liederkreise (Song-Cycles) on texts by Heinrich Heine and Joseph Eichendorff, Dichterliebe (Poet's Love) and Frauenliebe und Leben (Woman's Love and Life), and many separate songs.

Clara had been pressing him to widen his scope, to launch out in other media--above all, the orchestra. Now in January-February 1841 he composed the Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, which was immediately performed under the composer Felix Mendelssohn at Leipzig; an Overture, Scherzo, and Finale (April-May); a Phantasie for piano and orchestra (May), which was expanded into the famous Piano Concerto in A Minor by the addition of two more movements in 1845; another symphony, in D minor (June-September); and sketches for an uncompleted third symphony, in C minor. After this the orchestral impulse was temporarily spent.

In another new departure, Schumann in 1842 wrote several chamber works, the finest being the Piano Quintet in E-flat Major. The year 1843 was marked by Schumann's most ambitious work so far, a "secular oratorio," Das Paradies und die Peri (Paradise and the Peri). He made his debut as a conductor--a role in which he was invariably ineffective--with its first performance in December of that year.

During Schumann's work on The Peri, the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory had been opened with Mendelssohn as director and Schumann as professor of "piano playing, composition, and playing from score"; again he had embarked on activities for which he was unsuited. The first few months of 1844 were spent on a concert tour of Russia with Clara, which depressed Schumann by making him conscious of his inferior role. On returning to Leipzig he resigned the editorship of the Neue Zeitschrift. In the autumn of 1844 his work was interrupted by a serious nervous collapse. From late 1844 to 1850 he and Clara lived in Dresden, where his health was gradually restored. In 1845 he began another symphony, No. 2 in C Major, but because of aural nerve trouble nearly 10 months passed before the score was finished. Schumann wrote the incidental music to Lord Byron's drama Manfred in 1848-49.

Schumann's attempts to obtain posts in Leipzig and Vienna had also been abortive, and in the end he accepted the post of municipal director of music at Dusseldorf. At first things went tolerably well; in 1850-51 he composed the Cello Concerto in A Minor and the Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major (the Rhenish) and drastically rewrote the 10-year-old Symphony in D Minor, ultimately published as No. 4. He also conducted eight subscription concerts, but his shortcomings as a conductor became obvious, and in 1853 he lost his post as music director at Dusseldorf.

Schumann's nervous constitution had never been strong. He had contemplated suicide on at least three occasions in the 1830s, and from the mid-1840s on he suffered periodic attacks of severe depression and nervous exhaustion. His musical powers had also declined by the late 1840s, though some of his works still display flashes of his former genius. By 1852 a general deterioration of his nervous system was becoming apparent. On Feb. 10, 1854, Schumann complained of a "very strong and painful" attack of the ear malady that had troubled him before; this was followed by aural hallucinations. On February 26 he asked to be taken to a lunatic asylum, and the next day he attempted suicide by drowning. On March 4 he was removed to a private asylum at Endenich, near Bonn, where he lived for nearly two and a half years, able to correspond for a time with Clara and his friends. He died there in 1856.


As a composer Schumann was first and most naturally a miniaturist. Until after his marriage the great bulk of his work--including that by which he is best known--consisted of short piano pieces and songs, two genres so closely related in his case as to be hardly more than two facets of the same. The song accompaniments are often almost self-sufficient piano pieces, and the piano pieces often seem to have been melodically inspired by lyrical poems. Even when the musical idea did not originate in literature but as a waltz, polonaise, or some other striking harmonic progression found at the piano by his improvising fingers, it was usually given a quasi-literary title or brought into relationship with some literary idea.

Much of Schumann's most characteristic work is introverted and tends to record precise moments and their moods. But another side of his complex personality is evident in the forthright approach and strongly rhythmic patterns of such works as the Toccata (1829-32) and the Piano Quintet. These two aspects are reflected in the two self-projections--the heroically aspiring Florestan and the dreamily introspective Eusebius--into which Schumann analyzed his own character and which he drew upon in an autobiographical novel, his critical writings, and much of his music.

Schumann's early music--and much of the later--is full of enigmas, musical quotations (usually in subtle disguises), and veiled allusions. In the field of the piano miniature and the pianistic song, he is a supreme master; in the simpler kind of lyrical inspiration and in the invention of musical aphorisms, he has seldom been surpassed. When Schumann embarked on more ambitious composition under Clara's influence, his success was less assured. He was uncertain in writing for the orchestra and relied too often on safe routine procedures; his string writing was pianistic; and his most characteristic musical ideas, which he had hitherto been content to fit together in mosaics or remold plastically by variation, were seldom suited for development on a large scale. Nor in sustained musical thought did he find a satisfaction comparable with the smaller creations of his private dreamworld. Given such innate limitations, it is astonishing that Schumann was able to construct a symphony as firmly welded as the No. 4 in D Minor or a first movement as organic as that of the Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, and that he could conceive orchestral music of such gloomy power as the Manfred overture or the penultimate movement of the Symphony No. 3. Some of his large-scale works, such as the Piano Concerto and the Piano Quintet, depend overmuch on the piano for their salvation, but the piano certainly saved them. Schumann did manage to create large musical forms that could communicate his own special brand of intimate poetry and unforced nobility.

It was long customary to detect in the works of Schumann's last years evidence of his approaching collapse. But he had been mentally unstable all his life, haunted by fears of insanity since the age of 18, and the change of style noticeable in the music of the early 1850s--the increasing angularity of his themes and complication of his harmony--may be attributed to other causes, including the influence of J.S. Bach. Schumann was rightly considered an advanced composer in his day, and he stands in the front rank of German Romantic musical figures. Even his critical writing, which is as fantastic, subjective, and lyrical as his early music, constitutes a valuable document of the trend and period.

Top Questions

Why is Robert Schumann important?

What is Robert Schumann famous for?

What was Robert Schumann’s family like?

How was Robert Schumann educated?

How did Robert Schumann die?

Robert Schumann essays

Explore Related Essays
Effectiveness of different command styles
Table of Contents Executive report Introduction Rationale and objectives Background Methodology Analysis of the findings Conclusion Reference Works Cited Appendix   Executive report This report is performed to compare the effectiveness of different leadership styles in various organizations, describe how organizational theory underpins the practice of management, and evaluate the different approaches to management utilized by different..
Ethical expectations population has of organizations
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be explained as the "monetary, legal, honest, and discretionary targets that world has of organizations at a given time" (Carroll and Buchholtz 2003, p. 36). The idea of corporate interpersonal responsibility means that organizations have moral, moral, and philanthropic duties in addition to their duties to earn a fair return for investors and comply with the law. A traditional view of the corporation shows that its principal,..
Fingerprint based identification
Acknowledgement I am greatly indebted to Dr. Yang Xue "B. sc. , Msc, PhD, AFSRPSoc MInstP CPhys Csci Senior IEEE " for helping me with this job and then for valuable input in the organising Project, Constant Encouragement, Consistent Information. I communicate my sincere because of our Module Head, Prof. Dr. Karim Ouzzane for being a great pillar to aid me for those achievements. I wish to thank Shelly Ahmed 'CCTM subject Librarian' for guiding me library resources and..
Henkel hr practices
PART A: Recruiting and Selecting Our New Employees Recruitment and Selection is a major HRM functions (Dessler 2007) as it includes all organisational practices and decisions. It's been argued that in order for the firm to construct and preserve the competitive advantages, proper staffing is critical (Wright & Snell 1991, Boxall 1996). Recent technological advances, globalization, communal movements and changes within organizations have brought new obstacles..
Hoani waititi sociable services circumstance study
Weizhi You (Peter) Alternative health care positioning for BD Workplace: hoani waititi interpersonal services 1 Outline the information and issues highly relevant to the decisions about the choice placement because of this individual. BD is a 13years old young man. The boy's father or mother are both no longer working and they are medication and drunk everyday. The young man couldn't have the proper care from the family, insufficient food, always wear on grubby..
What is politics? Is it possible to give a neutral or objective description of politics? Politics is enjoyable, people always disagree about: that they should live? Who should get what? How should vitality and other resources be sent out? The debate about 'what is politics?' is worth pursuing since it reveals some of the deepest intellectual and ideological disagreements. It is always a dialogue, rather than a monologue. However, politics is difficult to explain...
Resume writing
Your resume is the first step for a successful career. From your resume an employer gets a general idea of you and can easily identify if you are a perfect match to the career he offers. Very often a resume matters much more than a perfect look you’ve chosen for a job interview. It is like a foundation for a steady and magnificent building rising up to the sky. The stronger it is, the higher construction you can erect. Don’t miss a single part of the basement not to let your dream house get..
Sports leadership and communication physical education essay
This research is situated in Sports activities Leadership and communication. The precise area to be looked into is the question following: Different mentors will have different leadership and communication styles. How do you want to determine the most appropriate style for you to use? The Mentors leadership and communication style make a difference the athlete's mindset. I'm looking into this area on my school paper because as a sports activities coach, I'd like to learn..
Strategic planning goals for sony inc
Sony's current financial problems are tied into its corporate culture that was explained over 30 years ago. With such a huge multinational corporation, greater planning plus more use of strategies should be pursued. Sony could focus on the implementation of a new mission affirmation, with revenue and benefits associated with the company linked more strongly to everyday procedures. Internally, the four makes, the management, the designers, the creation and the marketing..
The benefits of written communication british language essay
Written communication has better relevance in todays business community. It is an impressive activity of your brain. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthwhile promotional material for business development. Speech emerged before writing. But writing is more unique and even more formal than talk. Effective writing entails careful selection of words, their company in appropriate order in sentences creation as well as cohesive composition..
The essence of mbo business essay
The use of management objectives was first extensively advocated in the 1950s by the known management theorist Peter Drucker. It could be defined as an activity whereby the employees and the superiors come together to identify common goals, the employees set their goals to be performed, the criteria to be taken as the conditions for measurement with their performance and contribution and deciding the course of action to be adopted. The substance of MBO is participative goal..
Essay regarding using genetics testing as an admission requirement in to american colleges
On March 7th of 2008 a moot the courtroom was held responding to racial personal preferences in higher education. The case, placed in 2013, entails the School of Kentucky using obligatory DNA screening as a key factor in deciding aid from yes, definitely action. The plaintiff, an African American, will not receive preference because through the test this individual discovers he can a quarter Western. On the opposing side, the defendant can be described as Caucasian woman who..
Sickle cell anemia dissertation
The sickle cellular disease is definitely an inherited blooddisorder that impacts red blood cells. People withsickle cell have red blood cells that have mostlyhemoglobin's, At times these bloodbecome sickle-shaped or crescent shaped andhave difficulties going through small blood vessels.When ever sickle-shaped cells block little bloodvessels, less bloodstream can get to that part of thehuman body. Tissue it does not get a typical bloodflow eventually turns..
Ways that the british government attempted to hide the effects of the blitzlys from the persons of britain
Ways that the British Government Attemptedto Hide the consequence of the Blitzlys from the Persons of BritainThrough the war the British tried to hide the consequences of the Flash fromthose of England. They did this in 3 main ways; firstly thegovernment used censors to slice out negative' information that maydamage morale and the warfare effort. Subsequently the government receptors onlyallow positive' info on how the British were handling theBlitz to be released...
The go up on pharmaceutical drug drug abuse article
Many of Americans had been diagnosed with long-term pain. In fact according to the Company of Medicine 116 million United states of america adults live with chronic soreness. The majority of these adults usually do not seem to obtain the adequate treatment needed to make them to cope or to treat their pain. This can be primarily due to the physicians being unable to efficiently diagnose their particular patients, and or the medical doctors lack the knowledge of the best ways to..
Examination of overcome 's ' trump triumphs ' essay
he topic which i chose was "Trump Triumphs. " I selected this topic because Trump was only elected chief executive two days ago and there are a lot of combined reactions and feelings towards the new president. Due to many of these mixed emotions toward Overcome, I wanted to look into articles or blog posts that brought up his win from the three different attributes. The generous biased article, the side, is going to be unhappy with the consequence of Trump staying president..
How may be the climate affecting the extremely ice shelves and how has the change with polar ice cubes caps inspired the global climate?
The planet all of us live in, our planet is a small composition with this huge whole world. It has diversities ranging from very variant temperature and pressure belts and various environment types. The type of remarkable feature of the the planet is the polar ice shelves. There are three major visible features, the Antarctic glaciers on the To the south Pole, the Arctic snow on the North Pole and Greenland within the north among North America and Europe. Antarctica consist about..
Towers of hanoi
Towers of HanoiIntro============We have been asked during this piece of homework to investigate theTowers of Hanoi. The Towers of Hanoi is a simple game whereby you mustapproach of a stack of 3, 5, 5 or any other range of discs (1, 2, 3, etc)of decreasing radii from 1 of 3 poles to another pole (A, B, C).You are only capable of move one particular disc at the same time and cannot place a biggerdisc over a smaller compact disk. You must also total this task in thesmallest sum of moves possible.Each..
The beginnings of education are unhealthy, but the fruits are fairly sweet
A time approaches in every person's life if they must arrive to learn new pleasures. Speaking on behalf of all those who have joined school at some time in their life, I need to say that the majority of do not want it for its educational significance. Today's youth undervalue the really worth of America's public university system towards the point of shame. Hard-working, underpaid instructors and professors prepare to teach these ingrates as their living, and..
Dissertation on the duality of belinda in pope's rape from the lock
In Rasurado of the Fasten, Alexander Pere uses the epic contact form to satirize 18th century English society. The mock epic's protagonist, Belinda, portrays a duality of women as both materialistic and modeste beings. This duality, dictated by culture, shows contrary values. Belinda's duality demonstrates itself best lawn mowers of the toilette scene towards the end of Canto I. With this scene, she functions as an epic leading man readying pertaining to battle,..
Subscribe to our updates
79 345 subscribers already with us

Related authors

Osip Emilyevich Mandelshtam
Osip Emilyevich Mandelshtam
Osip Emilyevich Mandelshtam, Mandelshtam also spelled Mandelstam, (born January 3 [January 15,..
Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott, in full Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, (born August 15, 1771, Edinburgh, Scotland--died..
Lorenzo Ghiberti
Lorenzo Ghiberti
Lorenzo Ghiberti, (born c. 1378, Pelago, Italy--died December 1, 1455, Florence), early Italian..
Theodor Mommsen
Theodor Mommsen
Theodor Mommsen, in full Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen, (born November 30, 1817, Garding,..
Aristophanes, (born c. 450 bce--died c. 388 bce), the greatest representative of ancient Greek..
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, original name Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, (born May 12, 1828, London,..
Charlotte Bronte
Charlotte Bronte
Charlotte Bronte, married name Mrs. Arthur Bell Nicholls, pseudonym Currer Bell, (born April 21,..
Andre Gide
Andre Gide
Andre Gide, in full Andre-Paul-Guillaume Gide, (born Nov. 22, 1869, Paris, France--died Feb. 19,..
Jean de La Fontaine
Jean de La Fontaine
Jean de La Fontaine, (born July 8?, 1621, Chateau-Thierry, France--died April 13, 1695, Paris),..
Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney, (born November 30, 1554, Penshurst, Kent, England--died October 17, 1586, Arnhem,..
George Orwell
George Orwell
George Orwell, pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair, (born June 25, 1903, Motihari, Bengal, India--died..
John Wilkes
John Wilkes
John Wilkes, (born October 17, 1725, London--died December 26, 1797, London), outspoken 18th-century..
Francois Villon
Francois Villon
Francois Villon, pseudonym of Francois de Montcorbier or Francois des Loges, (born 1431, Paris--died..
Joseph Addison
Joseph Addison
Joseph Addison, (born May 1, 1672, Milston, Wiltshire, England--died June 17, 1719, London), English..
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre, (born June 21, 1905, Paris, France--died April 15, 1980, Paris), French novelist,..
Hippolyte Taine
Hippolyte Taine
Hippolyte Taine, in full Hippolyte-Adolphe Taine, (born April 21, 1828, Vouziers, Ardennes, France--died..
St. John Henry Newman
St. John Henry Newman
St. John Henry Newman, (born February 21, 1801, London, England--died August 11, 1890, Birmingham,..
Samuel Richardson
Samuel Richardson
Samuel Richardson, (baptized Aug. 19, 1689, Mackworth, near Derby, Derbyshire, Eng.--died July..
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius, Dutch Huigh de Groot, (born April 10, 1583, Delft, Netherlands--died August 28, 1645,..
Rudolf Virchow
Rudolf Virchow
Rudolf Virchow, in full Rudolf Carl Virchow, (born October 13, 1821, Schivelbein, Pomerania, Prussia..