Minnesota Orchestra to debut “The Prodigious Life of Clara S.” about Clara Schumann

Posted on: July 26, 2019

Pianist and composer Clara Schumann’s career is “examined in ‘The Prodigious Life of Clara S.,’ a new play with music devised by Minneapolis theater troupe the Moving Company with the Minnesota Orchestra,” writes Terry Blain in Sunday’s (7/21) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “It premieres July 27 as part of the orchestra’s annual Sommerfest. Twin Cities actor and singer Jennifer Baldwin Peden, [who] plays Clara, says, ‘She was really about making money for the family.’ … The money she earned [giving piano recitals] was critical, as [husband Robert Schumann’s] income from composing and music criticism was insufficient…. Although the main focus of ‘The Prodigious Life of Clara S.’ is inevitably on Clara herself, her husband (portrayed by Steven Epp) and their composer friend Johannes Brahms feature prominently, too…. ‘The Prodigious Life of Clara S.’ will give its audience a rare opportunity to hear some of [her] music …. before she stopped composing in her mid-30s. ‘Jennifer is a singer, so we’ll be doing a lot of Clara’s songs, as well as music by Robert Schumann and Brahms…. You’ll see the orchestra in very different configurations from the usual,’ said Minnesota Orchestra violist Sam Bergman, who has acted as a creative partner in the project.”

Posted July 26, 2019