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Robert Schumann
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    (June 8, 1810-July 29, 1856)
    Born in Zwickau, Germany
    Composer during the Romantic period
    Composed 'Carnaval,' 'Cello Concerto in A minor,' 'Piano Concerto in A minor,' 'Papillons,' 'Piano Quartet, Op. 47,' 'Piano Quintet, Op. 44,' 'Fantasiestücke,' 'Kinderszenen,' 'Kreisleriana,' 'Fantasia in C,' 'Paradise and the Peri,' 'Dichterliebe,' 'Arabesque in C Major, Op. 18,' 'Liederkreis' and the opera 'Genoveva'
    Married pianist and composer Clara Wieck (September 12, 1840)
    Heard voices in his head and attempted suicide by throwing himself off a bridge into the Rhine River (February 27, 1854)
    Died in a Bonn, Germany insane asylum at age 46
    In his youth he was known as a wild partier, drinking and bedding down many women.
    This led to him contracting syphilis which slowly destroyed his mind.
    Besides composing he made money as a music critic.
    Wieck's father disliked him (he was making out with her when she was 15 and he 24) so he sued to marry her and did so without her father's blessing.
    Though his wife loved touring, he hated it.
    A trip to Russia with his famed wife had an admirer of hers ask him, 'Please tell us, sir, are you musical?' (ouch)
    The last two years of his life he was locked in a mental hospital where staff would not allow his wife to see him for fear it would 'worsen' his condition.
    While he was locked up, Johannes Brahms wrote letters to his wife and fell in love with her.
    His father died and his sister Emilie drowned herself when he was 16, and his brother Julius died seven years later.
    In 1830 he got his mother's approval to abandon law to become a musician.
    His right middle finger was injured and became permanently numb, causing him to give up playing piano professionally at age 22 and concentrate on composing.
    He met Felix Mendelssohn at Wieck's house in 1835 and the two formed a lifelong friendship.
    He discovered Franz Schubert's previously unknown 'Symphony No. 9 in C' on a trip to Vienna and had the piece performed in public by his friend Mendelssohn to rave reviews, over 10 years after Schubert's death.
    He championed the revival of famed pianists of his era performing pieces of past composers, including Mozart and Beethoven.
    He also sang the praises of his contemporaries, including Berlioz, Chopin and of course Mendelssohn.
    He had to flee Dresden, Germany with his family to avoid the Revolutions of 1848.
    His wife suffered two miscarriages.
    He was given mercury during his stay at the asylum, which was a popular treatment for syphilis and also hastened his death.
    His wife was finally allowed to visit him at the asylum one day before his death.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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