We continue our look at the Schumann’s by shifting over to Clara. Clara was born in 1819 in Leipzig and was both an accomplished pianist and a composer. Her parents were Friedrich Wieck and Marianne Tromlitz. Marianne was a well known singer in Leipzig. Friedrich was a music teacher, instrument seller, and had a music lending library.
Friedrich and Marianne were married for 8 years and had 5 children. They divorced when Clara was 5 years old. Clara and her brothers all stayed with their father and were raised by him.
Friedrich knew his daughter was talented and capitalized on that talent from the beginning. She took lessons in piano, violin, theory, and composition. Clara started playing at a young age and was giving small concerts quite early in her life. It was at one of these early concerts that she and Robert met, both being guests at the same function.
Robert would become a pupil of her father and even lived in their house for a year. The bond between Clara and Robert started early and would grow into a life long commitment. Clara supported her husband through years of illness. Robert encouraged her composing and toured with her for performances. After Robert’s death, Clara devoted herself to performing and promoting her husband’s music. She lived for 61 years and spent pretty much all of it playing music, surrounded by family.