Composer Corner: Schumann

June 08, 2017
Robert Schumann (Joseph Kriehuber/Wikimedia Commons)

June's composer of the month is Robert Schumann.


Born: June 8, 1810

Died: July 29, 1856


Five facts:

• Schumann's first known work was a piece for piano, written in 1830.

• In an effort to be a better piano player, he built a device from a cigar box and wire that was meant to strengthen his fingers. Instead, he permanently damaged two fingers on his right hand.

• Schumann married Clara Wieck — also a composer — in 1840.

• The year he and Clara were married was also his most prolific, by far. Most of his known work for solo voice (nearly 168 songs!) was composed between February and December of 1840.

• In 1854, he tried to take his own life, and spent his last two years in an institution.


Three important works:

• Carnaval (1835)

• Dichterliebe (1840)

• Symphony No. 1 in B-flat (1841)