Building peace in the minds of men and women

200th anniversary of the birth of Clara Josephine Schumann

13 September 2019

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© Getty / DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI

“Composing gives me great pleasure...
there is nothing that surpasses the joy of creation”

                   - Clara Schumann

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the famous pianist and composer, Clara Josephine Schumann (1819-1896).  Born on 13 September 1819 in Germany, Clara Schumann is considered as one of the most distinguished pianists and composers of her time, the Romantic era.

Although her name has long been associated with that of her husband, Robert, Clara Schumann stood out from the crowd by the beauty of her musical works, most of which were composed before her marriage. She made her professional debut at the age of nine and had embarked on her first European concert tour at the age of eleven. Clara Schumann composed more than forty compositions her entire life and met other famous composers of her time, such as Felix Mendelssohn, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms, who expressed admiration for her.

UNESCO therefore celebrates the birth of this exceptional pianist and composer, who became one of the few women able to make a living from music at a time when music industry was already a male-dominated job.

Until today, women have been particularly marginalized from cultural life. They face several barriers to access, contribute and participate equally in theatre, cinema, arts, music and heritage. That is why UNESCO promotes the visibility of women artists while ensuring their equal participation in cultural life. Learn more about UNESCO’s actions on gender equality by clicking here.