Wieck Schumann, Clara

Clara Wieck Schumann (1819–1897), Germany

Pianist and composer; considered one of the most eminent piansts of her day. She concertized throughout Europe from age nine until her death. She was carefully educated by her father, Fredrich Wieck, a famous piano teacher in Leipzig, and also studied music theory and composition with Weinlig, Kupsch, and Dorn.

She married Robert Schumann and was the family breadwinner during an eventful 16-year marriage before Robert’s death at age 46. Johannes Brahms entered the Schumanns’ lives as a friend and soulmate and became an important source of support for the widowed Clara. Near the end of her life Clara founded a highly respected piano pedagogy school in Berlin. She was elected into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1870.