Robert Schumann - Famous Composers in History

Commemorative monument of Robert Schumann by German sculptor Karl Hartung. Editorial credit: Mikhail Markovskiy /

Robert Schumann was a famous German songwriter. His songs are regarded as among the finest in Romantic history. Although he had a dream of being a pianist, he never realized it as he later suffered a hand injury. However, Robert Schumann dedicated his hopes and efforts to writing songs.

Early life

Robert Schumann was born in Zwickau, in the Kingdom of Saxony, on June 8, 1810. He was the last born to Johanna Christiane and August Schumann. He started his music composure at an early age. He later took lessons on music as well as piano guidelines when he was seven years old.

At fourteen years of age, while still schooling in Zwickau, he wrote an essay that became an integral part of writing of his dad's volume, “Portraits of Famous Me”. Robert Schumann became an ardent fan of German poets such as Schiller and Goethe, and Jean-Paul among others. His interest in music was bolstered when he met Ignaz Moscheles.

However, Robert's interest in music suffered a significant setback when his father died in 1826. His mother, Christiane, was against her son's music as a career. Hence, Robert dropped out of school and later joined law school in Leipzig.


Robert returned to Leipzig in 1830 to take piano lessons under Friedrich Wiech's instructions. During his time with Wiech he injured his finger. Since he could no longer play piano, he turned to music and novel writing. He started learning music under the guidance of Heinrich Dorn who was a German songwriter and conductor of Leipzig Opera. Robert continued with his works with the inclusion of his literary in his songs. He also wrote an essay in 1831 and in 1832, he first played his Symphony in G minor.

Major Contributions

Robert Schumann's career blossomed after his initial performance. He went on writing songs and performing them and further fusing his works with literary as well as essays. He also did piano works such as Carnaval, which was one of his best works. He also wrote Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and Fantasie in C among others from 1834 onwards.

Robert Schumann became one of the most recognized music composers of his time. Most of his works are regarded as one of the finest talent by songwriters. His ability to fuse literary with song writing was unique. One of his best piece, Kinderszenen, which shows child innocence has gained a wide range of uses.


Robert Schumann faced some challenges in his career. Firstly, his damaged finger entirely changed his interest of being a pianist to becoming a composer. In addition, his health deterioration during the late 1840s was a real disaster to his work. His nervous system was affected such that he was shaking profusely, which considerably derailed his career of song writing.

Death and Legacy

Schumann died on July 29, 1856. Before his death, he had undergone a series of attempted suicide. Schumann was influential in his music from the 19th-century. Many musicians such as Sir Edward Elgar view Schumann as their role model. His wife, Clara, together with Brahms continued with his work. In the 1950s, East Germany produced stamps containing Schumann's portrait.


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