An essentially romantic composer, Robert Schumann is noted especially for his piano music, including the suites Carnival, Papillons, and Kreisleriana. He also wrote four symphonies, and several songs. His Piano Concerto in A minor is a part of the standard concert repertoire, and was also part of the inspiration for Grieg to write his even more famous piano Concerto, in the same key.

Schumann was born in Germany in 1810. His father was a book publisher, so he acquired a taste for literature early in life. After bitter disputes with his piano teacher  Friedrich Wieck, he finally married Wieck's daughter, Clara, in 1840. Clara was an able concert pianist and composer in her own right. Robert Schuman was an unstable character, alternating between sanguinity and melancholy, and this reflected in his music.

In his later years he was brought into public popularity by Brahms, who hailed him as a noble pure artist. After his death in 1854 in a mental asylum, Clara championed his music all over Europe, assuring him of lasting fame.