A Musical Marriage: Robert and Clara Schumann

May 24, 2017

In 1830, a young, dashing, rising star named Robert Schumann started studying piano in Leipzig with the well-known teacher, Friedrich Wieck, and moved into a room in his teacher’s house. Wieck’s 11-year-old daughter, Clara, was a gifted pianist and composer who was already giving concerts. The 20-year-old Robert became infatuated with her over time, and after intense opposition and legal battles with Clara’s father, the two were married in 1840 just before her 21st birthday.

Robert allowed his music to speak the depth of love he had for Clara. In their first year of marriage, he wrote more than 130 songs for voice and piano that were inspired by their new life together. The Schumann’s were each other’s muses, and they even kept a marriage diary together to communicate their concerns and to serve as a source of inspiration for their music.

Hear the music of the Schumann’s performed back-to-back by pianist Mimi Solomon in this week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast featuring the wcfsymphony’s “Appassionato” concert. Tune in on Sunday, May 28th at 4 p.m. and again on Monday, May 29th at 7 p.m.!


Theodor Kirchner – Nur Tropfen (adapted by Music Director and Conductor, Jason Weinberger)

Robert Schumann – Introduction and Allegro with Mimi Solomon, piano

Clara Schumann – Konzertsatz with Mimi Solomon, piano

Johannes Brahms – Symphony no. 1

(concert recorded April 29, 2017)