Constructing the Past


Gina Tangorra


Clara Schumann was the wife of the composer Robert Schumann, the mother of seven children, a famous concert pianist, and a talented female composer in a time when few women were active in both the private and public spheres. This paper seeks to present a more objective view of Clara Schumann beyond the superficial labels of wife, mother, pianist, and composer. By closely examining her early married life to Robert through the marriage diaries, as well as letters between the couple and Clara’s own personal diary, a more complex and often conflicted woman emerges from these pages.