Clara Schumann Initiative Düsseldorf (CSID)

Contact persons:
Dr. Irmgard Knechtges-Obrecht
Dr. Sabine Brenner-Wilczek
Dr. Ingrid Bodsch

c/o Dr. Irmgard Knechtges-Obrecht, Horbacher Straße 366 A, D-52072 Aachen

"The practice of art is, after all, a great part of my ego; it is to me the air in which I breathe." (Clara Schumann)

Clara Schumann lived in Düsseldorf for seven years. During that time she established a lasting personal and artistic bond with the city, its surroundings, and its inhabitants. It was this bond which brought her back there again and again until the end of her life. She also found time again to compose in her conveniently located apartment in Bilker Strasse in 1853. Many important works were created here. Her last two children were born and baptized in Düsseldorf: Eugenie on December 1, 1851, and Felix on June 11, 1854. One of Eugenie's godmothers was Clara Schumann's longtime Düsseldorf friend Rosalie Leser. It was mainly this friend, as well as the couple Lida (née Schadow) and Eduard Bendemann (painter), to whom Clara Schumann paid annual visits in Düsseldorf. Likewise, her lifelong friendships with Johannes Brahms and Joseph Joachim had their origins in Düsseldorf.

It is the goal of the Clara Schumann Initiative Düsseldorf to keep the memory of these strong and important connections alive. It aims to make Clara Schumann's life and work in Düsseldorf tangible to contemporary audiences by means of special events and activities meaningfully related to the topic. These events will also correspond with the exhibition on display at the Schumann House.

The Schumann city of Düsseldorf thus gains yet another important facet.
Clara Schumann née Wieck was already a star during her lifetime and was known throughout Europe. At the age of nine she started her career as a concert pianist in Leipzig, at eighteen she hadher international breakthrough in Vienna and at thirty-six her debut outside of the continent with her first tour in England. Before she had even turned sixty, she was already teaching a piano class at the Hoch'sches Konservatorium in Frankfurt as a professor.

Clara Schumann outlived her husband, the composer and music writer Robert Schumann, by forty years. She was not only the most famous concert pianist of the 19th century, but also a skilled composer.

Clara Schumann received numerous honors and awards, her stage career lasted sixty years. She lived through the rapid industrialisation of the 19th Century, as well as revolutions, uprisings, disasters, wars and major political events, including the founding of the German Empire in 1871. She saw the reign of three different German Emperors, moved in the highest aristocratic circles and was personally acquainted with every notable musician of her day, as well as many famous painters and poets.

We regard ourselves as a dedicated association of scholars working together in order to raise awareness of Clara Schumann’s work in Düsseldorf through a wide variety of events and activities. We cordially invite everyone interested in Clara Schumann to participate in our initiative. Since the Clara Schumann Year of 2019, numerous societies and associations dedicated to this famous artist have established themselves in various cities related to Schumann. The Clara Schumann Initiative Düsseldorf joins this group – organized within the Schumann Network – with a view towards Clara’s particular circumstances in and around Düsseldorf.


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