Talking casually, one would probably describe Robert Schumann today as one of the hottest pop stars of the 19th century. His fan base travels from all over Germany and from all over the world, and not only every four years when Zwickau hosts the renowned International Robert Schumann Competition for piano and voice. Day after day, the Robert Schumann House on Hauptmarkt welcomes five music lovers interested in the life and work of this exceptional composer. The museum is extremely productive as a scientific research centre. Here, in the house where the composer was born, you will find, among other things, the world's largest Schumann collection with more than 4,000 original manuscripts by the musician and his wife Clara, née Wieck (1819-1896), who was herself a gifted pianist.
The love for his wife, who bore him eight children, spurred Robert's musical creativity. The fact that Clara Schumann did not lose sight of her own path as a highly talented pianist and composer makes this extraordinary artistic community particularly interesting. Robert's and also Clara's works can be heard regularly in the concert hall of the Robert Schumann House. The permanent exhibition in eight rooms is equipped with objects from the Schumann family. A special treasure is the grand piano on which the nine-year-old Clara made her début in the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
Robert's father, the publisher and bookseller Friedrich August Gottlob Schumann (1773-1826) was also a remarkable man: He is the inventor of the paperback book. The publishing house Gebrüder Schumann, which he ran with his brother Friedrich, published a "pocket library of foreign classics in new Germanisations", which amounted to over 250 volumes. His son Robert also worked as a publisher: Together with his father-in-law Friedrich Wieck and other partners he founded the "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik". It was first published on 3 April 1834 and still exists today. Robert Schumann worked for ten years as an editor for this magazine, which focused on contemporary musical trends.