Robert Schumann was born on June 8, 1810 in Zwickau and is considered the most important composer of German Romanticism. In his school time he initially wanted to become a poet. It was not until 1830 that he decided on a musical career.
On a walk through the city of Zwickau one can admire numerous buildings which have seen Schumann come and go over the years of his adolescence. His first musical appearances took place at the cathedral of St. Mary’s . He went to school in the buildings of the so-called ‚Grünhainer Kapelle‘ and back then the ‚Priesterhäuser‘ — today hosting the city museum — accommodated his teachers. In the ‚Gewandhaus‘ Schumann attended its inauguration as opera house with Weber’s ‚Der Freischütz‘ when he was 13 years old.
The meanwhile traditional Schumann Festival was established in his home town in 1847 when Robert Schumann was still alive. Once his music had become known worldwide, Zwickau made the decision to honour its great son in this way. On this occasion Robert Schumann conducted his Symphony in C major at the ‚Gewandhaus‘ and his wife Clara appeared as soloist in the performance of his piano concerto. One of the highlights of this first Schumann Festival was an open-air concert on the banks of the river Mulde with various music ensembles and choirs from Zwickau and its surroundings. Nobody had the slightest idea that this was to be Schumann’s last visit to Zwickau. Nine years later he died in a private psychiatric asylum in Endenich, near Bonn.