Celebrating Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday

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(Wausau, WI) – South Beach Chamber Ensemble (SBCE) continues its fifth annual free chamber music festival with the celebration of Robert Schumann’ 200th birthday. The German born Schumann (June 8, 1810 – July 29, 1856) was one of the most famous Romantic composers of the 19th century. He had hoped to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist, having been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe after only a few years of study with him. However, a hand injury prevented those hopes from being realized, and he decided to focus his musical energies on composition. The Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47, was composed in 1842, two years after he married his teacher’s daughter Clara. Schumann died when he was 46 years old. For the last two years of his life, after an attempted suicide, Schumann was confined to a mental institution. 

The other major work on the August 1 program at the Woodson Art Museum will be Czech composer Bohuslav Martin.’s Piano Quartet. Martin.  (December 8, 1890 – August 28, 1959) was a prolific Bohemian Czech composer, who wrote six symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works. In 1923 Martin. left Czechoslovakia for Paris. In the 1930s he experimented with expressionism and constructivism, and became an admirer of current European technical developments and jazz . Of the post-war avant-garde styles, neo-classicism influenced him the most. He continued to use Czech folk melodies throughout his oeuvre. He emigrated to the United States in 1941, fleeing the German invasion of France. Although as a composer he was successful in America, receiving many commissions, he became homesick for Czechoslovakia. He never returned to his native country, and he died in Switzerland. 
Performing will be Sarah Schreffler, violin, Dee Martz (UW-SP), viola, Michael Andrews, cello and David Severtson (UW-GB), piano. 
The July concert in the Garden at the Yawkey House Museum will be an informal family affair. Bring a picnic, spread out your blanket and listen to the Four Seasons by Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla and great songs of the 20th century. Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) invented the nuevo tango, incorporating elements of jazz, extended harmonies and dissonance, counterpoint, and ventured into extended compositional forms. Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. 
Support for South Beach Up North is provided in part by the Community Arts Grant Program of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, with funds provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board, a state agency, the Community Foundation and the B.A. and Esther Greenheck Foundation. 
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