CLARA SCHUMANN – COMPOSER, PIANIST AND PIONEER – Celebrating 200 years – 1819-2019
This lecture celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the most extraordinary women in the history of Western art music. We explore her life and work, and see how, against insuperable odds, she disregarded the conventions of the day, and pursued a rigorous and highly successful career as a concert pianist throughout Europe, and in Russia.
Not only did she provide steadfast and unfaltering support for her mentally fragile husband, Robert Schumann, and bear his eight children, but she also found time to create compositions of great beauty – works that went beyond the superficial ditties and keyboard pieces produced by women composers until this time.
In short, Clara proved that it was possible to manage a performing career beyond the borders of her native Germany, to initiate new practices in piano performance, and to compose more than just babies.
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