Robert (Alexander) Schumann
Schumann, Robert (Alexander) (1810–56), German composer and critic, a leader of the romantic movement. His early work, until 1840, comprises inspired piano pieces (e.g., Symphonic Études, Papillons). He then turned his attention to music for orchestras (e.g., Piano Concerto in A Minor, 1841–45), achieving great heights of emotional intensity, and to songs, uniting voice and piano in beautiful classical compositions. He was an ardent advocate for and influence on new composers, such as Brahms and Chopin. In the 1840s he began to show signs of mental illness and, after a suicide attempt in 1854, was placed in an asylum, where he remained until he died.