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Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 29 July 1856) - was a

German composer and influential music critic. He is widely


regarded as one of the greatest composers of the
Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending
to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been
assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could
become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury
ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical
energies on composing.

Schumann's published compositions were written


exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed
works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for
voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works.
Works such as Kinderszenen, Album fr die Jugend, Blumenstck, the Sonatas and Albumbltter
are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift
fr Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin - was a Polish composer


and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era, who wrote
primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has
maintained renown worldwide as one of the leading
musicians of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on
a professional technique that was without equal in his
generation." Chopin was born in what was then the
Duchy of Warsaw, and grew up in Warsaw, which after
1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy,
he completed his musical education and composed many of his works in Warsaw before leaving
Poland, aged 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At the
age of 21 he settled in Paris. Thereafter, during the last 18 years of his life, he gave only some 30
public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported
himself by selling his compositions and teaching piano, for which he was in high demand.
Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his musical
contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. In 1835 he obtained French citizenship. After a
failed engagement to a Polish girl, from 1837 to 1847 he maintained an often troubled
relationship with the French writer George Sand. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand
in 183839 was one of his most productive periods of composition. In his last years, he was
financially supported by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in
1848. Through most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health. He died in Paris in 1849,
probably of tuberculosis.

Franz Liszt - (October 22, 1811 July 31, 1886), from


1859 to 1867 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt, was a
19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist,
conductor, teacher and Franciscan tertiary.

Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early


nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist.
He was said by his contemporaries to have been the
most technically advanced pianist of his age, and in
the 1840s he was considered to be the greatest
pianist of all time. Liszt was also a well-known and influential composer, piano teacher and
conductor. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz,
Camille Saint-Sans, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.

Clara Schumann (ne Clara Josephine Wieck; 13


September 1819 20 May 1896) - was a German musician
and composer, considered one of the most distinguished
pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over
a 61-year concert career, changing the format and
repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the
listening public. Her husband was the composer Robert
Schumann. Together they encouraged Johannes Brahms.
She was the first to perform publicly any work by Brahms.
She later premiered some other pieces by Brahms, notably the Variations and Fugue on a Theme
by Handel.

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 3 April 1897) - was a


German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a
Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional
life in Vienna, Austria. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity
and influence were considerable. He is sometimes
grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van
Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs", a comment originally
made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von
Blow.

Brahms composed for piano, chamber ensembles,


symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus. A virtuoso
pianist, he premiered many of his own works; he worked with some of the leading performers of
his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim (the three were
close friends). Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire.
Brahms, an uncompromising perfectionist, destroyed some of his works and left others
unpublished.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (7 May 1840 6 November 1893) -
was a Russian composer whose works included symphonies,
concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music, and a choral
setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Some of
these are among the most popular theatrical music in the
classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer
whose music made a lasting impression internationally,
which he bolstered with appearances as a guest conductor
later in his career in Europe and the United States. One of
these appearances was at the inaugural concert of Carnegie
Hall in New York City in 1891. Tchaikovsky was honored in
1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension in the late 1880s.

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February


1809 4 November 1847) - born and widely known as
Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist,
organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix


Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family.
Although initially he was raised without religion, he was
later baptised as a Reformed Christian. Mendelssohn was
recognised early as a musical prodigy, but his parents
were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his talent.
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