Chronological short vita

  • 1810 Robert Schumann was born on 8 June in Zwickau
  • 1817 piano lessons with Johann Gottfried Kuntsch. Clara Wieck was born on 13 September in Leipzig
  • 1820 school attendance (until 1828)
  • 1821 emerging of literary tendencies, foundation of a literary club
  • 1823 „musical evening entertainment“ under the conduction of Schumann at his parent’s home
  • 1825 father’s idea to let Robert be educated by Carl Maria von Weber (Weber died in 1826 in London); literary attempts; death of his sister Emilie
  • 1826 death of his father August Schumann
  • 1827 lecture of Jean Paul; beginning of the diary entries
  • 1828 graduation; journeys to Leipzig (acquaintance with Clara Wieck), Bayreuth (visit to Jean Paul memorial sites), Munich (encounter with Heine); beginning of his law studies in Leipzig, piano lessons with Friedrich Wieck
  • 1829 study year in Heidelberg, pianistic performances in society circles; journey to Switzerland and Northern Italy. In Switzerland, Robert Schumann was travelling from Luzer to Bern via Brünig and Interlaken, which his daughter Eugenie remembers: „Yes, Interlaken! Hundered years ago, a young man like many others came with a backpack and walking stick; a young man, who was once supposed to be my father, watched in amazement the mountain giants, the same which I look up to every day and which became my daily companions, almost the only ones.” In 1897, the eldest daughter of Schumann, Marie, purchased a piece of land in Interlaken, where she ordered to build a chalet, where she lived until her death on 14. November 1929.  In the still today preserved chalet Schumann, also her sister Eugenie Schumann, who had moved into an apartment on the main street of Matten with Marie Fillunger, spent a lot of time. Eugenie sold the land in Interlaken after the death of her sister Marie.
  • 1830 Schumann heared Paganini (Frankfurt am Main); decission to become a musician; after a journey along the Rhine, return to Leipzig; continuation with his study with Wieck; Abegg-Variations op. 1; Papillons op. 2; Toccata op. 7
  • 1831 theory lessons with Heinrich Dorn; essay on Chopin; beginning with music editorial activity
  • 1832 finger palsy; end of his pianistic career; first public performance of Schumann’s compositions
  • 1833 increasing of his composing activity; creation of the (partly imaginary) „Davidsbund“
  • 1834 April, establishment of  the „Neue Zeitschrift für Musik“ (NZfM) with Schumann as publisher and editor; secret engagement with Ernestine von Fricken
  • 1835 dissolution of the engagement; love with Clara Wieck; Friedrich Wieck sends Clara to Dresden; symphonic etudes op. 13 completed; Carnaval op. 9
  • 1836 death of his mother; secret encounter with Clara Wieck. Friedrich Wieck forbids his daughter every contact with Schumann; Fantasy in C major op. 17; sonata in F sharp minor op. 11 and concert sans orchestre in F minor op. 14 published
  • 1837 After one and a half year separation, secret engagment with Clara; Friedrich Wieck rejects Schumann’s courtship; longer concert tour of Clara with Friedrich Wieck; Davidsbündlertänze op. 6
  • 1838 fall, trip to Vienna to prove possibilities for emigration; Kinderszenen (Children’s Scenes) op. 15; Kreisleriana op. 16; Novelettes  op. 21; Sonata in G minor op. 22
  • 1839 plans for editing his magazine in Vienna fail; discovery of Schubert’s smyphony in C major; return to Leipzig and beginn of trial against Wieck; Faschingsschwank aus Wien (Carnival Scenes of Vienna) op. 26
  • 1840 conferral of doctorate at the University of Jena; positive court decision, thereupon marriage on 12 September; 138 songs, among them song cycle op. 24 (Heine); song cycle op. 39 (Eichendorff); Dichterliebe (Poet’s love) op. 48 (Heine)
  • 1841 symphony in B major op. 38 (Frühlingssinfonie); symphony in D minor in first draft; first movement of piano concerto in A minor (Fantasy)
  • 1842 concert tour to Northern Germany (Clara continues journey to Copenhagen); in fall, “nervous disease”; three string quartets op. 41; piano quintet op. 44; piano quintet op. 47
  • 1843 appointment to the Leipzig Conservatory; reconciliation with Wieck; oratorio „The Paradise and the Peri“ op. 50
  • 1844 from January to May concert tour to Russia; December: moving to Dresden
  • 1845 severe health crisis; intense studies of Bach; beginning of the symphony in C major op. 61; piano concert in A minor op. 54 completed, counterpoint works for piano, grand piano and organ
  • 1846 July/August stay at a health spa in Norderney; concert tour to Vienna; symphony in C major op. 61 completed
  • 1847 continuance of the journey to Vienna to Prague, trip to Berlin; Schumann festival in Zwickau; Schumann becomes „Liedmeister“ (song master) at the Liedertafel in Dresden; beginning of the work with Genoveva
  • 1848 foundation and conduction of the association for choir singing in Dresden; Album für die Jugend (Album for the youth) op. 68; Genoveva op. 81completed; work at Manfred and Faust. year of highest producing; during the May uprisings in Dresden, temporary stay in Maxen and Kreischa; numerous vocal and instrumental works, among others Lieder-Album für die Jugend (song album for the youth) op. 79; Waldszenen (forrest scenes) op. 82; Manfred op. 115 completed; working on Faust and part performance on occasion of Goethe’s centennial festivities
  • 1850 premiere of Genoveva in Leipzig; fall 1850: municipial music director in Düsseldorf; symphony in E flat major op. 97 (Rhenish symphony); violoncello concerto in A minor op. 129
  • 1851 health crisis; Der Rose Pilgerfahrt op. 112; few overtures; second draft of the symphony in D minor; violin sonata in A minor op. 105; violin sonata in D minor op. 121
  • 1852 stay at the spa Scheveningen; conflicts with the concert committee in Düsseldorf; mass in C minor op. 147; requiem in D flat major op. 148; Gedichte der Königin Maria Stuart (Mary Stuart’s Poems) op. 135
  • 1853 31st Niederrheinisches Musikfest (Music Festival); „nervous shock“ at a visit in Bonn; 30 September first encounter with Brahms; essay „Neue Bahnen“ (New Paths); in October resignation from the conduction of the subscription concerts; successful concert tour to the Netherlands; Gesänge der Frühe op. 133 (last piano work); Faust music completed; violin concerto in D minor (published not before 1937)
  • 1854 Successful concert tour to Hannover; hallucinations and suicide attempt on February 27; on March 4 hospitalization to mental home in Endenich near Bonn
  • 1855 improvement of health condition; request for accommodation elsewhere; Clara continues with her concert activity
  • 1856 Schumann dies on July 29 in Endenich, burial in Bonn; first concert tour of Clara to England


[Translated by Katharina Ma]

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