today commemorates the 193rd birthday of Clara Schumann, known as one of the most distinguished pianists belonging  to the Romantic era, with its newest Doodle. 

A German musician and composer, Schumann, (born Clara Josephine Wieck) was born on this day in 1819, in Leipzig, Germany to Friedrich Wieck and Marianne Wieck. At the age of 8, Schumann gave a performance at the Leipzig home of Dr Ernst Carus, who was the director of the mental hospital at Colditz Castle. At the performance, Schumann met Robert Schumann, another gifted pianist whom she would marry later. 

Google has a doodle for Clara Schumann

Google has a doodle for Clara Schumann

The doodle, a rather colourful one depicts Schumann with her eight children. The entire assembly of characters is flanked by an array of the keys of the piano. The letters ‘O’, ‘O’ and ‘G’ have been taken up by the characters in the doodle. On a whole, it is a simple, but endearing doodle. 

At the age of 11, Schumann set out on a concert tour to Paris via other European cities, with the father. Her debut solo concert happened at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. For a bravura piece performance that Schumann delivered in Weimar, she was presented with a medal and a portrait by Goethe; the note read, “For the gifted artist Clara Wieck.” At the age of 18, she performed a host of recitals in Vienna from December 1837 to April 1838. During one of these recitals, when Austria's leading dramatic poet, Franz Grillparzer heard Schumann perform the Appassionata sonata, he wrote her a poem, called “Clara Wieck and Beethoven.” 

She soon came into contact with the leading musicians of the day, including Mendelssohn, Chopin, and Liszt. She also met violinist Joseph Joachim, who went on to become one of her frequent performance partners.

Schumann, especially after her husband's death emerged as the main breadwinner of the family. Finances were managed by her through her concerts and teaching. Schumann, it has been known even did most of the work of setting up her own concert tours. 

Schumann earned herself the distinction of being one of the first pianists to perform from memory, a parameter that went on to become the standard for concertising. Schumann also contributed towards changing the kind of programs that audiences would come to expect of concert pianists. 

Four of Schumann's eight children and her husband died before her. Schumann's husband and one of her sons are known to have ended their lives in a mental asylum. 

Clara Schumann breathed her last on May 20, 1896 at the age of 76 after suffering a bout of stroke. 

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