2019 certainly did not miss out on Clara Schumann in any way! Expectations had been very high but then they were even exceeded! On the 200th anniversary of her birth, Clara Schumann was celebrated not only in all Schumann towns and, of course, first of all in her home town of Leipzig, but indeed all over the world. With the recording of Clara Schumann’s piano works as a debut CD, the young British pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason gained international attention and was presented the Opus Klassik music award. Magdalena Zięba-Schwind and Andreas Morell had made a documentary film, “Die drei Leben der Clara Schumann [The Three Lives of Clara Schumann]”, for the Central German broadcaster MDR and the French-German cultural TV channel ARTE; new biographies were released, with the biography by Irmgard Knechtges-Obrecht, „Clara Schumann. Ein Leben für die Musik [Clara Schumann. A Life for Music]“, published in May 2019 by the academic publishing house Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, being of particular interest; Countless events and landmark exhibitions took place in all Schumann towns; and Leipzig saw in the Schumann Museum Leipzig, Inselstraße 18, the opening of a new permanent exhibition on 12th/13th September 2019, designed as an „artist couple‘s museum“. In this Schumann Journal, I have also included an English translation of Ilona Eibenschütz‘s biography by Kazuko Ozawa and Matthias Wendt from the book „Die Schülerin – Die Meisterin. Ilona Eibenschütz und Clara Schumann [The Pupil – The Master. Ilona Eibenschütz and Clara Schumann]“, published in 2019, where the authors had not only extensively examined Clara Schumann‘s relationship with her late favourite pupil but also traced the life of Ilona Eibenschütz, who was permanently based in London after her marriage, as well as an English translation of a contribution by Thomas Synofzik on Clara Schumann‘s concert tours in Britain, which had been published in the catalogue to the Bonn exhibition „[On Tour. Clara Schumann as a Concert Virtuoso on the Stages of Europe]“, edited by me. An original contribution to the Schumann Journal by Katrin Reyersbach and Thomas Synofzik is dedicated to Nathalie Janotha, another favourite pupil of Clara Schumann.
The prestigious International Robert Schumann Prize of the city of Zwickau was presented in equal parts to a pianist (Ragna Schirmer) and an academic (Janina Klassen), who had made a name for themselves through their focus on Clara Schumann, in particular. In Baden-Baden, the chamber opera “Clara”, dedicated to Clara Schumann, by the American composer Victoria Bond, who had also been inspired for her composition by a study visit at the Brahms House in Baden-Baden, saw its premiere celebrated within the framework of the Easter Festival at the Baden-Baden Festival Theatre. Clara Schumann was celebrated in concerts all over the world, and there were also worldwide academic conferences and symposia, especially dedicated to her. Naturally, our Schumann Journal also contributes to the anniversary of her birth, albeit only by way of selection and of example, as the abundance of events worth reporting would otherwise go far beyond its actual scope. And, needless to say, the 2019 Schumann Forum Talk Concert was also dedicated to Clara Schumann, whose songs had been recorded by our new Schumann Forum member Miriam Alexandra in collaboration with the Dutch tenor Peter Gijsbertsen and the Schumann Prize winner and founding member of the Schumann Forum Jozef de Beenhouwer at the piano. But, of course, Robert Schumann has not been “neglected” either, as one cannot think of Clara Schumann without Robert Schumann in the same way as there is no Robert Schumann without Clara Schumann!
As always, we present you a selection of last year’s new releases until the beginning of 2020, and as always we are thrilled by the abundance of remarkable new CD recordings. As always, the Schumann Journal also presents the sheet music editions and books published in the year under review, including any new releases of the Complete Schumann Edition and the Schumann Letter Edition. As always, there is a review of the past year. As before, Thomas Synofzik, Anita Brückner and Gregor Nowak have penned the reviews of and outlooks for their own institutions and activities in Zwickau, Dresden and Leipzig. As always, we also present the artists who are members of the Schumann Forum, launched in 2011, and whose numbers we have gladly been able to increase year after year. Last but not least, we have also listed, as usual, the members and partners of the Schumann Network, together with their contact details. Wishing you much joy and inspiration when reading Schumann Journal number 9,
Ingrid Bodsch & Irmgard Knechtges-Obrecht
The hand of a virtuoso - plaster cast of Clara Schumann‘s right hand, around 1875 (Brahms-Haus, Baden-Baden)