Alexander Stefaniak's book "Becoming Clara Schumann: Performance Strategies and Aesthetics in the Culture of the Musical Canon" is available for pre-order.

Becoming Clara Schumann explores how this extraordinary musician established herself as the most internationally renowned female pianist of her time.  

"One particularly rewarding part of my research has been learning how Clara Schumann exercised creative agency. In her time, being a concert pianist didn’t only mean mastering repertoire. Schumann and fellow pianists composed and performed original works. They also created customized versions of other composers’ music - so, even when you heard Clara Schumann play music by Beethoven or her husband Robert, you were often hearing her own compositional voice as well.  

Another fascinating part of my research was immersing myself in the full run of Schumann’s concert programs. From her debut at age nine to her retirement at seventy-two, she played 1300 concerts across Europe, from Dublin to Moscow. Through it all, Schumann was her own manager, responsible for strategically organizing her tours. Going through her programs and reading them alongside newspapers and letters, I could follow Schumann on the road and watch her evolve as a performer, encounter setbacks and triumphs, and learn from her experiences." 

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