Born June 8, 1810 in Zwickau, Germany
Died July 29, 1856 in Bonn, Germany
Four symphonies, a piano concerto, chamber music and music for solo piano
Schumann wanted to be a musician from an early age, but his mother wanted him to be a lawyer and persuaded him to go to law school. He hated law school and dropped out after a short time. Then, Schumann became a live-in student of Friedrich Wieck, a famous pianist. It was during his studies to become a concert pianist that he fell in love with Wieck’s daughter, Clara, who was a famous pianist in her own right. Her father refused to grant them permission to marry so they went to court to get legal permission. Robert and Clara married and lived many happy years.
After Robert injured his ring finger, he became a full-time composer. His most famous musical compositions were for piano. He was also a writer and published a music magazine called Neue Zeitschrift Fur Musik (New Journal for Music). In it, he wrote about music and composers of the day, encouraging some and criticizing others.
He was an intensely hard worker and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1844. After many attacks of depression and exhaustion, he asked to be sent to an asylum outside the city of Bonn where he died in 1856.