Clara Schumann Comes to Rochester: Eastman Students Perform Her Music for Foodlink

  Clara Wieck in 1840

By Jeremy Lopez

ALP Communications Intern


This Sunday, October 20th at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Rochester, the first concert in the “If Music Be The Food” series will be held to help raise funds for the Rochester Food Link organization. This first concert will feature the composer Clara Schumann with eight of her songs sung by six Eastman voice students, along with string chamber music by Dvorak.


Clara Wieck Schumann, the German pianist and composer, was one of the most prolific pianists of the Romantic era and created a legacy of teaching that extended to England and even the United States. She was married to composer Robert Schumann, and was a huge proponent of his music throughout her entire life. The music world celebrates her 200th birthday this year, making this celebration of her vocal music even more appropriate.


In speaking about Clara Schumann and her importance within the realm of classical music, first year master’s student Brittney Burgess says, “Clara Schumann paved the way for female composers today. She was an amazing pianist and composer that does not get enough credit.” Brittney continues, “Clara Schumann fought for the things she loved. She is a beautiful representation of a women in charge and that is why she is important to me.” Junior undergraduate student Chloe Lee adds to this, “As a female musician myself, I receive a lot of inspiration from Clara Schumann. Although it is much more common now than it was then for women to perform, there is still so much room to improve in terms of opportunities, especially for female composers and conductors.”


While her music continues to share its beauty today, the meaning of her songs also continue to hold true, and carry a great significance in the context of the “If Music Be The Food” concert. Brittney Burgess will be singing a song entitled “Das ist ein Tag, der klingen mag” or “This is the day of sound rejoicing” in English. On the relevance of Clara’s music in this concert, Brittney notes, “The piece has a cheerful and light melody that is describing all of the sounds of spring. This benefit concert brings support to the community by collecting food to help the hungry. We are coming together to try and make a difference in our community. What better way to celebrate this act of kindness than by singing a piece that rejoices all that our surroundings have to offer?”


The Rochester Food Link is an organization that is aimed at helping communities in need by providing fresh, healthy food. This mission extends all across the greater Rochester area. Although their mission does not involve music, Chloe Lee believes that we can find motivation in their work and harness their principles to “bring music and, in particular, music education to groups, especially children, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience such an inspirational, fulfilling process.” Musicians are unique in that they have the opportunity to share their art in many ways to help the community, and do not have to limit themselves to any single method.


This concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, East Avenue and Westminster Road, Admission is non-perishable food items, cash, or check.

To learn more about the Rochester Food Link, please visit


  Clara and Robert Schumann