'A beautifully crafted portrait of Clara Schumann. Be prepared to shed a tear' 5 stars, Album of the Month, Pianist Magazine
Lucy Parham: 'not only an excellent pianist – she is also a musical communicator par excellence who demonstrates a strong rapport with the music she performs' Seen and Heard International
'It’s my favourite thing for Clara Schumann’s Anniversary and my Album of the Week. It’s a seriously moving tribute.' Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review
Wednesday 23 June
Clara Schumann – A Life in Music
Created to celebrate 200 years since Clara Wieck Schumann’s birth in 1819 and premiered at Kings Place in October 2019, I, Clara tells her extraordinary life story in her own words.
Clara Schumann was a truly exceptional woman, not just a devoted wife to the composer Robert Schumann, but a ground-breaking musician in her own right. Over six decades she gave over 1,500 concerts and determined the format of the piano recital that is familiar to us today.
As a child prodigy, she was groomed for stardom by her piano teacher father, Friedrich Wieck and was dazzling audiences throughout Europe by the age of eight. She married Robert against her father’s wishes and became the mother of eight children. When her husband declined tragically into mental illness and attempted suicide, she continued both to run the household and to make an international concert career to support the family.
Clara championed the works of her husband and of Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and many others, but was also herself a talented composer, producing a piano concerto, numerous solo piano works, chamber music and songs.
The narrative of I, Clara, drawn from letters and diaries, is interspersed with live performances of her works, and of music by Robert Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Mendelssohn, and Chopin.
For more information, please visit: http://lucyparham.com/project/i-clara-composer-portrait
Lucy Parham, piano
Joanna David*, narrator
Scripted by Lucy Parham
*Subject to professional commitments.
Juliet Stevenson is sadly indisposed and we are extremely grateful to Joanna David for stepping in at short notice.