Clara Schumann, born Clara Wieck, was a 19th century German composer, pianist, and teacher. She was the wife of Robert Schumann and tirelessly promoted his music. She was one of the leading European pianists and an accomplished composer and teacher.
Clara was born into a musical family in Leipzig. Her father was a piano teacher and was also in the sheet music business; in addition, he repaired pianos. Clara’s mother was both a solo pianist and soprano in the Leipzig Gewandhaus. She also taught piano and helped her husband with his music dealings. Clara’s maternal grandparents were also associated with music; their occupations included cantor, flautist, flute builder, and composer.
Clara was one of five children. At a young age her parents divorced and she was forced to stay with her father, as the children were considered property. Though her general education was minimal, Clara received an excellent education in music. She studied piano with her father, in addition to religion and languages. She later studied violin, theory, harmony, orchestration, counterpoint, fugue, and composition with various teachers throughout Germany. She also had the opportunity to attend many concerts in Leipzig and learned the business aspects of a music career from her father.