Robert Schumann, the quintessential Romantic, turns 200 this year. In collaboration with Concert Artists Guild, we’re celebrating the beauty and depth of his smaller works in Simply Schumann, a mini marathon that takes you inside the mind of this highly eccentric, idiosyncratic composer.
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell comes to the conclusion that in order to reach success in your craft, you need 10,000 hours of practice. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous amounts of time, and perhaps Schumann knew about this rule before Gladwell. While he was a virtuoso pianist as well as composer, his performing career was curtailed when he permanently injured his hands by excessive and dangerous practicing.
His romance with the talented pianist and composer Clara Wieck, who became a champion of his compositions, and her lifelong relationship with the younger composer Johannes Brahms, whose emergence on the music scene was widely supported by Schumann, is the stuff of romance novels. Schumann’s own decline from syphilis led to an untimely death in an asylum, but his creative output was powerful nonetheless. The concert at Symphony Space features some of Schumann’s solo piano music, smaller works for chamber ensemble and songs, music of a highly personal nature, offered by some of today’s leading artists.
If you’d like to come and experience Simply Schumann, there are tickets still available. The evening starts at 5:00 pm with a discussion I’m moderating with a panel of pianists Tanya Bannister, Michael Boriskin, Soyeon Lee, and Rorianne Schrade. The music portion of the evening starts at 6:00 pm. You can find the full schedule on the Simply Schumann event page.21fe