Archive for September 16th, 2012


Happy Birthday Clara Schumann

September 16, 2012

Three days late

I know this birthday announcement is three days late but I just couldn’t resist posting it. I didn’t know of Clara until I saw the Google Doodle on Thursday and of course, clicked on it to learn more. What an interesting person. They describe her with the words “sassy” and “in her heyday she was the toast of Europe”. During her time on earth she was actually known as “Priestess” and the “Queen of the Piano” and evidently “bucked societal conventions of the time”. She would have been 193 on Thursday.

Yes, she was married to the composer Robert Schumann who wanted her to play the role of “dutiful wife” instead of “flitting around in musical circles”. Interestingly enough, her father recognized her genius and tried to block her marriage to Robert. At age 37 she became a widow and took her place in the world to support her family (8 children) and focused on her career.

Author Nancy B. Reich wrote her biography called “Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman” and wrote “Clara Schumann was always her own person, perceiving herself as an artist who was a woman, and eternally grateful for the art that was to sustain her through a lifetime of tragedy and triumph.” Sounds like a book I’d like to read on a rainy day curled up by the woodstove.

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