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Clara Schumann

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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 29, 2004
She was a child prodigy whose piano-playing earned her the enthusiastic praise of no less than Mendelssohn, Chopin and Liszt, and she continued to give concerts into her 70s. She composed a remarkably assured piano concerto at age 15 and wrote several other substantial pieces over the years. She fought long and hard with her father over her right to marry the man she adored. Her husband died insane and so did one of her sons. But she never lost her bearings, her spirit or her talent as she earned her place among the 19th century's most respected musical figures.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 25, 2007
Mendelssohn, Schumann, Mahler -- these composers are so famous they usually go by last names alone. Now consider this roster: Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler. How many people instantly recognize them as composers, too? To narrow the topic even more, how many people have heard their music often enough to think of it as familiar? Welcome to the history of female composers. It's a history well worth exploring, especially as we're in the midst of National Women's History Month -- complete with some complementary concert scheduling.
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By Judith Green and Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 2, 1997
Ladies and gentlemen, the celebrated pianist Clara Schumann will now take questions from the press.Reporter: Madame Schumann, it has been more than a century since your last recital. Why are you now again on tour?Clara Schumann: Oh, it has been longer than that! I stopped performing in 1890. I was 71, and I was going deaf, you know. Anyway, it is not I on tour, but a clever pianist named Beverly Serra-Brooks. She dresses as me, plays my music and talks about my life.Reporter: Tell us about her.Schumann: She is a beautiful woman of 40 who lives in Pasadena -- the one in California -- with her husband, the composer Lee Brooks.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 4, 2004
When the Eroica Trio emerged onto the chamber music scene in the late 1990s, there seemed to be more attention paid to the players than to their playing. Let's face it - an art form as starved for attention and attention-getters as classical music is going to perk up at the sight of three women who could be mistaken for fashion models. But, unlike some other head-turning musicians who had only marketing potential, the Eroica members demonstrated considerable skills at engaging the ear. These skills were much in evidence Sunday night in the season-closing presentation by the Shriver Hall Concert Series.
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By Daniel Schlosberg and Daniel Schlosberg,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 3, 2000
Did Clara Schumann have an affair with Johannes Brahms? Acclaimed pianist Ruth Laredo thinks she knows the answer, although other experts vigorously disagree. "They had a torrid love affair," Laredo said. "There's no way they couldn't have." It's one of the topics she'll address in her "concert with commentary" Friday night at the University of Maryland, College Park. Laredo started giving this type of recital, which mixes performance with anecdotes about the composers' lives, at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1980.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 4, 2004
When the Eroica Trio emerged onto the chamber music scene in the late 1990s, there seemed to be more attention paid to the players than to their playing. Let's face it - an art form as starved for attention and attention-getters as classical music is going to perk up at the sight of three women who could be mistaken for fashion models. But, unlike some other head-turning musicians who had only marketing potential, the Eroica members demonstrated considerable skills at engaging the ear. These skills were much in evidence Sunday night in the season-closing presentation by the Shriver Hall Concert Series.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 25, 2007
Mendelssohn, Schumann, Mahler -- these composers are so famous they usually go by last names alone. Now consider this roster: Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler. How many people instantly recognize them as composers, too? To narrow the topic even more, how many people have heard their music often enough to think of it as familiar? Welcome to the history of female composers. It's a history well worth exploring, especially as we're in the midst of National Women's History Month -- complete with some complementary concert scheduling.
NEWS
February 1, 2002
Musical duo to play dulcimer, Autoharp at weekend concerts Walt Michael, Common Ground on the Hill founder and hammered dulcimer player, will present two concerts this weekend. Michael will be joined by Bryan Bowers, Autoharp master, for a concert at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at St. Paul's Chapel, St. Paul's School, Brooklandville; and at 3 p.m. Sunday in Little Baker Chapel at Western Maryland College. Bowers has been a master of the Autoharp for three decades and is a member of the Autoharp Hall of Fame.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | November 21, 1996
What should be two fine (and free) piano recitals take place in houses of worship Sunday afternoon. The first features Mark Markham in a dazzling program in Dalsheimer Auditorium at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Markham is a virtuoso who is also a redoubtable vocal coach. Little wonder, then, that he will play music that demands a singing touch -- the 24 Preludes of Chopin, the "Harmonies du Soir" and the Fantasy on themes from Gounod's "Faust" by Liszt, Leonard Bernsten's "Touches" and Mozart's Fantasy in D minor.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2004
Stage The life story of Clara Schumann is typically overshadowed by that of her husband, German composer Robert Schumann, or her close friend, Johannes Brahms. A new opera brings her journey to the forefront. page 12 Trips Spoutwood Farm, near Glen Rock, Pa., is home to the May Day Fairie Festival, which takes place this weekend. page 18 DVDs Catch the second season of the Golden Globe-winning comedy The Office, starring Ricky Gervais as the boss you hope never, ever to have inflicted upon you. page 7 Music New CDs -- one from Diana Krall and one a compendium of neo-soul groups -- bring a breath of fresh air to the musical scene.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 29, 2004
She was a child prodigy whose piano-playing earned her the enthusiastic praise of no less than Mendelssohn, Chopin and Liszt, and she continued to give concerts into her 70s. She composed a remarkably assured piano concerto at age 15 and wrote several other substantial pieces over the years. She fought long and hard with her father over her right to marry the man she adored. Her husband died insane and so did one of her sons. But she never lost her bearings, her spirit or her talent as she earned her place among the 19th century's most respected musical figures.
FEATURES
By Daniel Schlosberg and Daniel Schlosberg,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 3, 2000
Did Clara Schumann have an affair with Johannes Brahms? Acclaimed pianist Ruth Laredo thinks she knows the answer, although other experts vigorously disagree. "They had a torrid love affair," Laredo said. "There's no way they couldn't have." It's one of the topics she'll address in her "concert with commentary" Friday night at the University of Maryland, College Park. Laredo started giving this type of recital, which mixes performance with anecdotes about the composers' lives, at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1980.
FEATURES
By Judith Green and Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 2, 1997
Ladies and gentlemen, the celebrated pianist Clara Schumann will now take questions from the press.Reporter: Madame Schumann, it has been more than a century since your last recital. Why are you now again on tour?Clara Schumann: Oh, it has been longer than that! I stopped performing in 1890. I was 71, and I was going deaf, you know. Anyway, it is not I on tour, but a clever pianist named Beverly Serra-Brooks. She dresses as me, plays my music and talks about my life.Reporter: Tell us about her.Schumann: She is a beautiful woman of 40 who lives in Pasadena -- the one in California -- with her husband, the composer Lee Brooks.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 13, 1995
The Gewandhaus Quartet is almost certainly the oldest string quartet in existence. It was formed by the four principal string players of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1809 -- the first violinist was none other than Ferdinand David, for whom Mendelssohn wrote his Violin Concerto in E Minor -- and its first collaborators included pianists such as Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann. With the possible exceptions of interruptions for the World Wars, it's been going strong ever since.Certainly, the present constellation of the Gewandhaus -- violinists Frank-Michael Erben and Conrad Suske, violist Volker Metz and cellist Jurnjakob Timm -- seemed in fine fettle last night in their program at Temple Oheb Shalom.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 10, 1996
While perusal of William Bolcom's score for "Gaea" suggests that it is much more than a compositional stunt, there's a sense in which every left-handed work is just that.The piano's left hand repertory came into existence for one reason -- pianist-composers love to show off. The way Brahms viewed Bach's unfathomably great Chaconne for solo violin is a classic example of such a mind-set."On a single staff, for a tiny instrument, the man has written a whole world of the most profound ideas and powerful emotions," he told Clara Schumann.
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