Marie von Lindeman (1818–1903)

Marie von Lindeman was born in Dresden and was almost the same age as Clara Schumann. It 1848 she became her student and was one of the first members of the Choral Society that was founded by Robert Schumann. In a festive concert on the occasion of Goethe’s secular festivity on 29 April 1849, she sang one of  the solo parts in the third part of Schumann's Faust Scenes. On 17 November 1850, she hosted a matinee in which she performed as a singer (contralto) and pianist.

At that time she already earned her living by giving piano and singing lessons. In 1852 Marie von Lindeman wanted to follow the Schumanns to Düsseldorf, but Clara Schumann advised against doing so. After Marie was convinced during a shorter stay, she remained in Dresden. At the age of 30 already, Marie Lindeman sickened of cataract, which she chose to undergo surgery in 1854. Nevertheless, her eyesight deteriorated considerably, and in the end she went blind, so that they could not find a job anymore.

From about 1850 until her death she lived with her friend Louise Wießner who was was a great support and also ran errands for Clara Schumann. Since 1870, Marie Lindeman was successfully busy with writing. The friendly relationship to her former teacher remained until her death. 64 letters of Clara Schumann to her friend in Dresden remained, in which she reports on her concerts and her children (published in: Alltag und Künstlertum. Clara Schumann und ihre Dresdner Freundinnen Marie von Lindeman und Emilie Steffens. Erinnerungen und Briefe nach den Quellen, edited by Renate Brunner. Sinzig 2005, Schumann-Studien Sonderband 4). Marie von Lindeman wrote at the request of the Englishman Frederick Niecke memories of Clara and Robert Schumann.

(J.M.N., translated by Katharina Ma)