Robert Schumann was the youngest child in his family, born to Johanna Christine and August Schumann in 1810. Much of his young life was spent surrounded by literature and music thanks to his parents.
Friedrich August Gottlob Schumann was born in 1773. He was a German bookseller and publisher and the literature influence in Robert’s young life. August passed away in 1826 at the age of 53, when Robert was only 16 years old.
Robert’s mother, Johanna Christina (Iohanne Christiane) Schnabel, was one of his main influences in his early life. She was nearing or over 40 when Robert was born. Raising the children fell completely on her shoulders. She loved to sing and had imparted a love of music to all of her children. The older children played piano. Robert and his mother sang together from when he was very young. They had a very strong relationship and she was supportive and encouraging of her son throughout. With her husband’s passing, determining Robert’s future fell to her. For a time, he studied law as she wanted to ensure that he had a prosperous future. However, there came a time when he knew he wanted to pursue music as a career. Concerned she spoke with Professor Frederick Wieck, his future father-in-law and after being reassured that he had the talent, she gave Robert her blessing to pursue his dreams. She lived until Robert was 26 years old and he was heartbroken when she passed.