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Robert Schumann Biography

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Genres: Classical/Opera

Robert Schumann, sometimes given as Robert Alexander Schumann, (8 June 181029 July 1856) was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic.

Schumann's intention was to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist, having been assured by his teacher, Friedrich Wieck, that he could become the finest pianist in Europe after only a few years of study with him. However, when a hand injury prevented those hopes from being realized, he decided to focus his musical energies on composition. Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. His writings about music appeared mostly in the ''Neue Zeitschrift für Musik'' ("The New Journal for Music"), a Leipzig-based publication that he jointly founded.

In 1840, after a long and acrimonious legal battle with his piano instructor (Wieck), Schumann married Wieck's daughter, pianist Clara Wieck, who also composed music and had a considerable concert career, including premieres of many of her husband's works.

For the last two years of his life, after an attempted suicide, Robert Schumann was confined to a mental institution at his own request.