Schumann, Robert

BORN 8 Jun 1810, Zwickau, Sachsen: Hauptmarkt - DIED 29 Jul 1856, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen: Endenich
BIRTH NAME Schumann, Robert Alexander
GRAVE LOCATION Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen: Alter Friedhof (Abteilung IV, Grabnummer 860)

Robert Schumann studied Law in Leipzig, before he focussed his attention on music from 1830 onwards. In 1827 he had met Agnes Carus, the wife of Dr. Ernst Carus and he fell in love with her. There is no evidence that she returned his attentions.

He studied music with Friedrich Wieck when he was around 20 and there he met Wieck's daughter, who was 11 at the time. He had relations with other women and at one time was engaged to Ernestine von Fricken. Due to a paralysed right hand he wasn't able to play the piano well enough and he turned to composition.

When Clara was sixteen they got closer, but Friedrich Wieck didn't want the penniless Schuman hanging around his daughter. However, after a long struggle for her hand he married Clara Wieck without Wieck's approval in 1840 and in 1843 they went to live in Dresden.

In 1850 the Schumanns and their children moved to Düsseldorf, where his "Rheinische Sinfonie" was first performed on Februari 6, 1851. Schumann suffered from health problems and he conducted his last concert in Düsseldorf on October 27, 1853. In January 1854 he and Clara gave concerts in Hanover, but on February 2 he jumped from a bridge into the river Rhein. He was saved by fisherman, but his mental illness (probably caused by syphilis) was so severe that he had to spend the final years of his life in a mental institution at Endenich, near Bonn. There he died in 1856.

He was buried at the Alter Friedhof in Bonn, a place he visited several times during his life to take a look at the tomb of Schiller's wife Charlotte.

• Daughter: Schumann, Julie
• Son: Schumann, Felix
• Wife: Schumann, Clara (1840-1856, Schönefeld, Sachsen (near Leipzig): village church)

Related persons
• was a friend of Arnim, Gisela von
• met Bach, Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst
• influenced Bargiel, Woldemar
• helped Brahms, Johannes
• was a friend of Franz, Robert
• was teacher to Goethe, Walther Wolfgang
• met Grillparzer, Franz
• met Hanslick, Eduard
• knew Kinkel, Johanna
• was drawn by Kriehuber, Josef
• was a friend of Liszt, Franz
• was a friend of Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix
• met Pleyel-Moke, Marie Félicité
• knew Reinecke, Carl
• influenced Rheinberger, Josef Gabriel
• visited Schadow-Hasenclever, Sophie
• was a friend of Schuncke, Ludwig
• met Thalberg, Sigismund
• was a friend of Verhulst, Johannes
• was supported by Vesque von Püttlingen, Johann
• was pupil to Wieck, Friedrich

31/3/1828Robert Schumann meets Clara Wieck. At the occasion he heard her play the piano. [Schumann, Clara]
0/8/1828Robert Schumann starts his piano lessons under Friedrich Wieck [Schumann, Clara][Wieck, Friedrich]
11/5/1829Robert Schumann leaves Friedrich Wieck to go to Heidelberg [Wieck, Friedrich]
20/10/1830Robert Schumann returns to Friedrich Wieck to continue his piano studies [Wieck, Friedrich]
8/6/1831Robert Schumann calls Clara Wieck 'Zilia' in is poems. This relates to the "Schmetterlinge" poems. [Schumann, Clara]
0/4/1835Clara Wieck returnes from her concert tour. After her return she spent much time with Robert Schumann. Schumann was secretly engaged to Ernestine von Fricken, but he started to withdraw in August after he heard of Ernestine's heritage. [Schumann, Clara]
25/11/1835First kiss between Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck. Friedrich Wieck would take his daughter to Dresden in January 1836 to keep her away from Schumann. [Schumann, Clara][Wieck, Friedrich]
7/2/1836Secret meeting between Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck in Dresden. Clara's father Friedrich Wieck disapproved of their meetings and thus they met in secret. The meeting lasted until 11 February 1836. [Schumann, Clara][Wieck, Friedrich]
0/6/1836Clara Wieck returns Robert Schumann's letters [Schumann, Clara]
14/8/1837Secret engagement between Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck [Schumann, Clara]
13/9/1837Robert Schumann asks Friedrich Wieck for Clara's hand. He did this on her eighteenth birthday, but Friedrich Wieck refused his daughter permission to marry Schumann. [Schumann, Clara][Wieck, Friedrich]
15/6/1839Clara Wieck asks for legal permission to marry. This was because her father refused to let her marry Robert Schumann. [Schumann, Clara]
17/4/1840Robert Schumann visites Clara Wieck in Berlin. The visit lasted from 17 April to 30 April. [Schumann, Clara]
1/8/1840Legal permission for the marriage between Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck is granted. The Court of Appeal allowed them to marry. Before that Clara's father Friedrich Wieck had stopped the marriage. [Schumann, Clara][Wieck, Friedrich]
31/3/1841Clara Schumann first performs under her married name at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. She had maaied Robert Schumann on 12 September 1840. [Schumann, Clara]
14/2/1842Clara Schumann leaves for a concert tour. With her husband Robert Schumann she travelled to Hamburg. She continued alone to Kopenhagen. [Schumann, Clara]
25/1/1844Start of a concert tour of Robert and Clara Schumann to Russia [Schumann, Clara]
30/5/1844Clara and Robert Schumann return from their Russian tour [Schumann, Clara]
3/10/1844Clara and Robert Schumann visit Dresden [Schumann, Clara]
13/12/1844Clara and Robert Schumann move to Dresden [Schumann, Clara]
12/8/1845Beethoven statue in Bonn unveiled. It was created by Ernst Hähnel and unveiled in honour of the 75th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. Franz Liszt was actively involved in the project and donated over 10,000 francs. Schlegel had been the head of the organising committee but he died in May, 1845. Professor Heinrich Breidenstein, who had first expressed the idea, took over his position. The ceremony was attended by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Hector Berlioz, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Ignaz Moscheles, Charles Hallé, Jenny Lind, Pauline Viardot, Lola Montez, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn and Maria Kalergis. [Berlioz, Hector][Hallé, Charles][Lind, Jenny][Liszt, Franz][Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix][Meyerbeer, Giacomo][Montez, Lola][Viardot-Garcia, Pauline]
0/11/1846Start of the concert tour of Clara and Robert Schumann to Vienna. They visited Brno and Prague as well. They took their daughters Elise and Marie with them. [Schumann, Clara]
4/2/1847Clara and Robert Schumann return from their concert tour to Vienna [Schumann, Clara]
5/5/1849Clara and Robert Schumann flee from Dresden. Clara was seven months pregnant and they fled for the revolution. [Schumann, Clara]
12/6/1849Clara and Robert Scumann return to Dresden. They had previously left Dresden in May for the revolution. [Schumann, Clara]
30/7/1853Robert Schumann suffers a stroke during a visit to Bonn 
30/9/1853Clara and Robert Schumann meet Johannes Brahms. the 12-year old Marie Schumann was also present. [Brahms, Johannes][Schumann, Clara]
27/10/1853Last concert conducted by Roberrt Schumann in Düsseldorf 
6/12/1853Sophie Offermans sings a work by Robert Schumann accompanied by Clara Schumann. She sang a part from "Der Rose Pilgerfahrt" by Schumann in The Hague. Clara Schumann accompanied her on the piano. Robert Schumann was in the public. [Schumann, Clara]
27/2/1854Robert Schumann jumps from a bridge into the Rhine. His attempt to commit suicide failed because fishers helped him out of the water. 
4/3/1854Robert Schumann is committed to the asylum in Endenich. He had tried to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge over the Rhine after throwing his wedding ring into the water. Fishers helped him out of the water but he tried to jump from their boat. 
25/4/1854Clara Schumann hears Liszt's "Piano sonata in B Minor" and strongly dislikes it. She received it on this day and it was dedicated to her husband Robert. Johannes Brahms played it for her and she strongly disliked it. The piece was performed in public in 1857 by Hans von Bülow and it would become both popular and influential. [Brahms, Johannes][Bülow, Hans von][Liszt, Franz][Schumann, Clara]
14/9/1854Robert Schumann is able to correspond with his wife Clara. He was committed to an institution in Endenich after a suicide attempt in a state of confusion. From now on he would correspond for seven months with his wife. [Schumann, Clara]
23/7/1856Clara Schumann is called to Endenich. The situation of her husband Robert was supposed to be critical, but they didn't meet on this day. [Schumann, Clara]
27/7/1856Clara Schumann is finally admitted to her husband Robert. Robert Schumann was committed to an institution in Endenich. She hadn't seen him for two years because she wasn't admitted to him. Two days later he would die. [Schumann, Clara]
26/11/1937First performance of Robert Schumann's Violin Concerto. It was performed by Georg Kulenkampff and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Karl Böhn was the conductor. The manuscript had been given by Clara Schumann to Joseph Joachim. Joachim had stated in his will that it should not be performed until 1956, 100 years after Schumann's death. This was because he thought that the piece showed signs of Schumann's mental illness. Joachim's heirs gave permission for an earlier performance. [Böhm, Karl][Joachim, Joseph][Schumann, Clara]


Monument for Robert Schumann at the Schillerpark in Leipzig.
Picture by Androom (10 Feb 2005)


The grave of Robert and Clara Schumann at the Alter Friedhof, Bonn.
Picture by Androom (23 Apr 2005)


Robert Schumann monument in Düsseldorf.
Picture by Androom (06 Nov 2005)


Plaque at Bilkerstrasse 15, where Robert and Clara Schumann lived in Düsseldorf.
Picture by Androom (06 Nov 2005)


Plaque for Robert Schumann at the house in Bonn-Endenich where Robert Schumann spent his last years.
Picture by Androom (15 Jun 2012)


Bust by Alfred Hrdlicka of Robert Schumann at the mental institution in Bonn-Endenich where Schumann spent his last years.
Picture by Androom (15 Jun 2012)


The former mental institution at Bonn-Endenich where Robert Schumann spent his last years.
Picture by Androom (15 Jun 2012)


The grave of Robert and Clara Schumann at the Alter Friedhof, Bonn.
Picture by Androom (17 Jun 2012)


Statue of Robert Schumann in Zwickau.
Picture by Androom (04 Aug 2016)


Schumannhaus in Zwickau.
Picture by Androom (04 Aug 2016)


Plaque for Robert Schumann at the Schumannhaus in Zwickau.
Picture by Androom (04 Aug 2016)


Clara Schumann Chronology, Internet, 1996
Encyclopedie van de Muziek, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1959
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
NameBright - Coming Soon
Georg Kulenkampff – Wikipedia
Beethoven Monument - Wikipedia
Sophie Offermans-van Hove - Wikipedia
Decoding the music masterpieces: Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor - ABC News
Clara Schumann Chronology

Schuncke, Ludwig

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 20 Sep 2023