Robert Schumann - 1810-1856
Robert Schumann was born in Zwickau in 1810. He showed some interest in literature in his early years. It was only after going to university that Schumann turned to music. He was taught by Friedrich Wieck. Wieck was a famous teacher, and had taught his daughter Clara to play at a young age. Schumann and Clara Wieck after some time got together and they were then in love. Despite Clara's father's disgust at the idea, and his determination to split them apart, they married in 1840. Schumann had damage to his fingers, and so had to give up on the idea of being a virtuoso pianist. He then drew his attention to composing more fully. He became a writer and editor for the "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik", a music journal launched in 1834. Schumann had throughout his life, depression. He eventually attempted suicide, but failed, and this soon resulted in insanity, and death in 1856.
Schumann wrote lots of music. A fair quantity of this work is for the piano. This is a list of the most famous and the best pieces:
Album für die Jugend
There are also good sets of pieces like the ones in opus 23, 28 and 32.
David Dobson's Music Pages