Clara and Robert Schumann spent the happy first four years of their marriage in the Schumann House in Leipzig. On September 13th, 1840, the newlyweds moved into their first shared domicile in an emerging new district, which was to become the center of the book trade. Numerous publishers and book printers settled here, including Breitkopf & Härtel and C.F. Peters as well as F.A. Brockhaus and Reclam. On the occasion of the anniversary year CLARA19, the Schumann-Haus will present its new museum concept, in cooperation with curator Beatrix Borchard and Karsten Blum (exhibition design). The remodeled museum will be open to the public starting on September 14th, 2019, one day after Clara’s 200th birthday. The reopening of the house will take place together with a big street festival on the Inselstraße. The Schumann Festival Weeks, starting on the wedding anniversary on September 12th, guarantee a varied program: with the chamber music festival “10 for Clara”, among other events.
„Experiment of an artist marriage” – the Schumanns’ Leipzig years
The new permanent exhibition will transform the Schumann-Haus into a museum of a partnership, rendering it unique among museums devoted to musicians. A newlywed couple moves into the Inselstraße. They dream of an artist marriage on equal terms. Both have chosen a partner who complements their skill set. Equality between women and men, however, is not yet recognized in 19th century society. Some of the themes of the exhibition will be the creative team of husband and wife with a role shift, the different working and living conditions of both artists, as well as the balancing act between concert tours, concentrated work, and family duties – how did the Schumanns face these challenges?
Leipzig celebrates Clara Schumann
Over 170 events await audiences during the festival year “CLARA19”, which stands under the patronage of Leipzig’s mayor for culture, Dr. Skadi Jennicke. These events will be offered by around 60 institutions from Leipzig’s cultural scene (the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Ballet, the MDR Radio Choir, the Bach Museum, the Schumann House, the Young World Theatre, to name a few) as well as internationally renowned artists, such as Lauma and Baiba Skride (piano/violin), Antje Weithaas (violin), Andris Nelsons (as principal conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and as trumpeter), Ragna Schirmer (piano), cellists Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and Peter Bruns as well as the Vogler Quartet and the Alinde Quartet. The engagement with the subject of Clara Schumann reaches much further than orchestra and chamber music concerts: Theater and ballet productions,exhibition, colloquia as well as walking tours, bicycle tours, sing-along concerts in parks and an open-air church service have all been inspired by the versatility of this star of the 19th century.
Clara Schumann spent the first 25 years of her life in Leipzig and married Robert Schumann here. She gave her successful concert debut at the Leipzig Gewandhaus when she was nine years old. As a renowned concert performer, she enjoyed great musical success in the Leipzig period in Paris, Vienna, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg, among other places. On the occasion of her 50th anniversary as a performer in 1878, she was honored at the Leipzig Gewandhaus.