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Classical Music Connections

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Dimitris Karydis in conversations with Kate Ryder, Chamber Music tutor at Morley College and accomplished concert pianist, about the music of Clara Schumann.


Two centuries after her birth, Clara Schumann – the composer, critic, impresario, pianist, celebrity, mother and Robert Schumann’s wife, and not necessarily in that order — is recognized as a 19th century power woman. Clara Schumann was a 19th-century phenomenon: a superstar of her day, described as the ‘High Priestess of Art’. In the early years of her marriage to Robert Schumann, her performing career made her the main breadwinner of the household. She had no less than eight children. At the age of just 37 she became a single mother on the death of her beloved Robert, and she continued to tour extensively throughout her life. She became the first ever female music professor at the Dr Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt and she wrote some utterly exquisite music as a composer.


We urge you all to go on a voyage of discovery to discover Clara Schumann’s wonderful music, and to learn more about her extraordinary life. Clara Schumann is an inspiration: truly an icon not just for women, but for us all.


Music on this Episode:


Clara Schumann: Piano Trio op. 17, I: Allegro Moderato (extract)

Demver Blancio (violin), Anthea Lehmann (cello), Christopher Scobie (piano)


Clara Schumann: Variations on a theme by Robert Schumann, op. 20

Nikos Stavlas (piano)


Clara Schumann: ‘Ihr Bildnis (text by Heinrich Heine)

Hester Dart (contralto)

Christopher Scobie (piano)