Clara Schumann

Clara Wieck Schumann

1819 (Leipzig, Germany) – 1896 (Frankfurt am Main)

She met her future husband Robert Schumann aged 9: she is generally seen as later subjugating her talents to his. Goethe gave her — still a child — a medal for her playing. She played duets with Thalberg and, once, a trio with Moscheles and Felix Mendelssohn (who had conducted her first public performance, aged 11). Brahms became a steadfast lifelong friend, looking after the Schumanns’ children when they were on tour (the nature of his and her very close relationship remains unclear). Chopin, Meyerbeer and Berlioz were all personal friends. Arnim urged her to bring Robert Schumann home from the asylum.