Chronological short vita


1819 Clara Josephine Wieck is born on Spetember 13th as the daughter of Friedrich and Mariane Wieck (born Tromlitz)
1824 Mariane leaves Friedrich Wieck on May 12th and takes Clara with her, in September Clara has to move back to her father, Wieck starts to give his daughter systematical piano lessons
1825 on January 22nd, Mariane and Friedrich Wieck get divorced, Mariane marries the piano instructor Adolph Bargiel in August with whom she moved to Berlin
1826 temporary school attendance, lessons in French and English with tutor
1828 Friedrich Wieck marries Clementine Fechner on July 3rd, on October 20th Clara performed for the first time at Lepiziger Gewandhaus, first compositions
1829 Clara already gives lessons to her brother Allwin, gets to know Paganini, who is impressed by her playing and the polonaise in E flat major
1830 in March/April journey to Dresden, where she performed in noble circles as preparation for her debut of her first concert on November 8th at the Leipziger Gewandhaus, Robert Schumann studies and lives in the house of Wieck.
1831 Clara‘s op. 1 is published In January three private concerts in Dresden, in May a concert in Altenburg, in September start of her first concert tour abroad. first performances in German cities: Clara played to Goethe in Weimar, Louis Spohr in Kassel, the journey takes her from Frankfurt and Darmstadt further to Paris
1832 from February to April first stay in Paris, concerts in private circles and also two succesful pubic performances, meeting with Chopin, Meyerbeer and others, in the Gewandhaus Clara plays variations op. 2 by Chopin, public release of her own op.2
1833 studies in musical theory and compositions with cantor Theodor Weinling and with musical director Heinrich Dorn, her op. 3 dedicated to Robert Schumann gets published, meeting with the sisters Emilie and Elise List, with whom she was befriend a very long time
1834 from November onwards 5 months tour through Northern Germany
1835 the relationship to Robert Schumann gets more and more intense, especially after the break up with Ernestine von Fricken; publishing of op. 4., Mendelssohn becomes the director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts, debut performance of Clara’s piano concert op. 7 under his conduction on November 9th
1836 Robert visits Clara in Dresden, Friedrich Wieck forbids any further meeting, concert tours with the father (inter alia to Breslau) publishing of op. 5, op. 6 and op. 7
1837 from February to May concert tour to Northern Germany, meeting in Berlin with her mother after separation for years Friedrich Wieck rejects Robert Schumann‘s proposal, secret engagement on August 14th with Robert Schumann in fall departure to concert tour to Vienna with the father, where she celebrates her biggest success; op. 8 gets published
1838 Clara gets nominated imperial chamber virtuosa by emperor Ferdinand I. in Vienna, stays there until March gets to know the singer Pauline García (later Viardot) publishing of op. 9 and op. 10
1839 concert tour to Paris without the father, stay from February to August, Friedrich List introduces Heinrich Heine to Clara Clara moves to her mother to Berlin, Robert and Clara apply at the court of appeal in Leipzig for marriage license op. 11 gets published
1840 the court charters the permission of marriage on September 5th last concert of Clara Wieck on September 12th marriage with Robert Schumann in Schönefeld/ Leipzig, the married couple keep a diary of their marriage Ehetagebuch (until 1844)
1841 compositions of three songs for the joint op. 37/12, poems of Rückert’s Liebesfrühling first concert as Clara Schumann on May 31st (also debut performance of Schumann’s Frühlingssinfonie) daughter Marie is born on September 1st
1842 concert tour to Northern Germany, accompanied by Robert, continuing journey alone to Copenhagen, return of Robert to Leipzig
1843 on April 25th daughter Elise is born conciliation of Wieck with Clara and Robert publishing of Sechs Lieder op. 13
1844 from January to May joint Russland tour with Robert, on March 5th, Clara is nominated honorary member of the Philharmonic Society in St. Petersburg in December the couple moves from Lepizig to Dresden
1845 on March 11th daughter Julie is born op. 14, op. 15 and op. 16 are published Clara performs for the first time Robert’s piano concert in A minor in Dresden
1846 on February 8th son Emil is born composition of the piano trio op. 17 recreational holiday trip with Robert to Norderney in July/August in November the couple departures with the daughters Marie and Elise to Vienna
1847 the joint concert with Jenny Lind in Vienna is a great success in February/ March trip to Berlin for the performance of Schumann’s "Das Paradies und die Perl" and to various concerts on June 22nd son Emil dies in July music festival in Zwickau with Robert on November 4th Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy dies op. 17 is published
1848 on January 20th son Ludwig is born Clara arranges five chamber music soirées in Dresden, where she also accompanies the singer Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient
1849 May upraising in Dresden, Clara and Robert spend a couple of weeks in Kreischa and Maxen on July 16th son Ferdinand is born
1850 successful concerts in Hamburg and Bremen from May to July stays in Leipzig for premiere of Schumann’s opera "Genoveva" and for concerts in the Gewandhaus moving to Düsseldorf, where Robert becomes musical director
1851 first conflicts between Robert and the choir and orchestra on December 1st daughter Eugenie is born Clara gives concerts and piano lessons
1852 concert in Leipzig, Düsseldorf and surrounding cities recreational holiday trip to Scheveningen, Clara suffers a miscarriage
1853 concerts at the Niederrheinisch music festival in May start of the very intense friendship with the violinist Joseph Joachim, on September 30th first meeting with Johannes Brahms Robert quits his work as a conductor, but is still honored successful concert tour of the couple to Holland in November/December composing of op. 20, op. 21, op. 22 and op. 23
1854 concert tour to Hannover in January together with Robert (last joint trip), meeting with Brahms and Joachim on February 27th suicide attempt of Robert, on March 4th commital to insane asylum in Bonn-Endenich on his own wish, interdiction of visit announced by the doctors on June 11th son Felix is born Clara restarts her concert career to support her family, and she starts a flower collection booklet for Robert gets to know the baritone singer Julius Stockhausen
1855 tour to Holland and Pomerania, holidays with Brahms in the Rhineland
1856 concert tours to Vienna and for the first time to England meeting with Robert two days before his death on July 29th, funeral in Bonn Clara writes her last compositions for the next 23 years: the romance in B minor, which was published long time after her death in October Brahms returns to Hamburg, Clara departs to her concert tour to Denmark
1857 second tour to England in fall moving to Berlin discomfort with her arm that detain her from giving concerts in the end of the year
1861 performs Brahms‘ piano quartet in G minor op. 25 and his variations on Händel in Hamburg, plays his piano concert in D minor as debut performance
1862 after 13 years goes on another concert tour to Paris purchase of the cottage in Lichtental near Baden-Baden to spend summer time with her children there
1863 moving to Baden-Baden last trip to Paris, performances with Pauline Viardot-Garcia
1864 successful tour to Russia
1865 breakthrough at the audience and bad reviews in England
1867 ending of her editorial work on the German Chopin edition (started in 1847)
1869 on September 22nd marriage of her daughter Julie with Earl Vittorio Radicati di Marmorito
1870 Ludwig has to be taken to the mental asylum Colditz, Ferdinand is going to the Franco-Prussian War
1872 on March 10th Clara’s mother dies, on November 10th her daughter Julie dies too
1873 Ferdinand marries Antonie Deutsch on October 6th Clara’s father Friedrich Wieck dies selling of the cottage in Baden-Baden, moving to Berlin with Marie and Eugenie adaptation of 30 songs of Robert for piano
1874 after the performance of Brahms’ concert in D minor she had to make a break of almost two years due to severe rheumatism
1875 negotiation with the Berlin academy for music because of an employment
1877 on November 27th daughter Elise marries Louis Sommerhoff
1878 ending of negotiations about an engagement at the Dr. Hoch Academy of Music , moving to Frankfurt/Main 50th stage anniversary, gala concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Golden medal for art received from the King of Bavaria
1879 on February 16th son Felix dies from tuberculosis Clara has to cut back on her stage career work on the critical complete edition of Robert’s works until 1886, due to the golden wedding of her friends Julius and Pauline Hübner Clara creates an occasional and her very last composition: the march in E flat major, which she never considered to be published
1881 honorary membership at the Royal Academy for Music
1886 publication of her on her own edited youth letters of Robert
1887 Clara takes responsibility for Ferdinand’s six children, because of his addiction to morphine
1888 19th and last concert tour to England on October 26th she celebrates the 60th stage anniversary in Frankfurt
1889 Award of the Grand Medal for art presented by emperor Wilhelm II. to her 70th birthday
1890 selling of 16 musical autographs by Robert to the Royal Library in Berlin for 15.000 Mark
1891 on March 12th last public performance in Frankfurt/Main on June 6th his son Ferdinand dies, Clara takes his children Julie and Ferdinand with her
1892 retirement from teaching post due to health problems
1895 last visit of Brahms in February transcribes 3 sketches for grand piano from op. 56 and op. 58 by Robert and writes down her own preludes
1896 on May 20th she dies after suffering a second stroke, burial at the Old Cemetery in Bonn


For the compilation of this short overview on Clara Schumann’s life, the chronological tables of the rororo-monography by Monica Steegmann, Clara Schumann, Reinbek 2001, p. 145ff, as well as Nancy B. Reich, Clara Schumann. The artist and the woman. Revised edition. Ithaca/London 2001, p. xxi-xxiii.

(Summarized by Julia M. Nauhaus, translated by Katharina Ma)

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