This is already the sixth year of the Schumann Journal which we take pleasure in presenting you with. The new year is particularly ennobled by the fact that we were able to preface it, with the permission of the Office of the German Federal President, with one of the last official speeches of Federal President Joachim Gauck, which the Federal President had delivered on the occasion of a cultural evening dedicated to Clara and Robert Schumann, the legendary German artist couple of Romanticism, held at Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn on 07.03.2017.
The go-ahead for the publication of an independent Schumann Journal was given in 2011, thanks to the support of the then Minister of State for Cultural and Media Affairs, when the project management of the Schumann Network, in existence since 2005, was able to start its work, at the same time as the new Schumann Forum, on the first Schumann Journal also, which was presented in its first year in the spring of 2012. The Schumann Journal has an international orientation, taking into consideration Schumann activities worldwide, and is therefore also largely bilingual – in German and English. Our target group is not primarily a musicological specialist audience but, instead, artists, Schumann fans and interested non-professionals who are meant to be well informed, inspired and pleased in a competent manner.
In the sixth issue of the Schumann Journal you will find, due to a sad occasion and a very great loss for the world of music and culture, Professor Otto Biba’s obituary on Nikolaus Harnoncourt who had been one of the founding members of the Schumann Forum back in 2011. We had already published this obituary by the Schumann Network in a special issue in 2016 but decided it should also be included in the Schumann Journal by all means.
As in last year’s issue, we are pleased to present you with two artist’s talks in printed form, both conducted under the motto of the Schumann Forum “Do you like Schumann”. The first one was conducted by the former feature editor of newspaper “Bonner General-Anzeiger” and currently Vice-Chairman of the Schumann House Association in Bonn, Ulrich Bumann, with our young member of the Schumann Forum, Luisa Imorde, where we linked the interview to a public presentation of Luisa Imorde’s debut CD on which the young pianist magnificently combines works by Robert Schumann with compositions by Jörg Widmann, himself a member of the Schumann Forum. The second artist’s talk was dedicated to a grandee of the international music scene whom we had also been able to gain as a member of the Schumann Forum at an early stage: Sir András Schiff! The talk with him was conducted – a stroke of luck – by Professor Bernhard Appel, long-standing editor-in-chief of the Complete Robert Schumann Edition and subsequently Head of Archives and of the publishing company of the Beethoven House in Bonn. Both talks have been available as a video on YouTube for a long time. Contributions by Dr Ute Scholz and Anita Brückner focus on special anniversaries in the Schumann towns of Zwickau and Dresden. Thomas Synofzik reports on a Schumann Competition in the Urals. The Australian musician and long-standing Head of Personnel of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO), Paul Blackman, magnificently describes the genesis and development of his book, published at the beginning of 2017, on Christian Reimers, the well-known cellist and caricaturist from Schumann’s time in Düsseldorf, whose life story, which actually led him to Australia and then ended with a ship accident on the high seas, reads like an adventure novel.
As always, we present an ample choice of new publications of the past year until the beginning of 2017, many of them with extensive reviews including abstracts in English, where 2016 again brought a wonderful richness of notable CD recordings, as well as sheet music editions and books, including, of course, new publications from the Complete Robert Schumann Edition and the Schumann Letter Edition.
The annual review, introduced by the project management of the Schumann Network a few years earlier, again highlights a selection of particularly noteworthy events with a Schumann connection or outstanding tributes to artists from the Schumann Forum, the Board of Artists of the Schumann Network. Thomas Synofzik, Anita Brückner and Gregor Nowak write about their own respective institutions. Timo Evers, academic employee with the Schumann Research Centre in Düsseldorf, reports on the 22nd Academic Workshop on Issues of Schumann Research, held at the Robert Schumann House in Zwickau between 2nd and 4th September 2016, themed “Art and Everyday Life. The Letter Exchange between Clara and Robert Schumann”.
And we are delighted to publish a very personal impression by the pianist Claar ter Horst, member of the Schumann Forum and participant in the Bonn Schumann Evening of Federal President Joachim Gauck, which she wrote down directly after the Schumann Evening at the Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn that was highly moving for all invited Schumannians.
As always, individual pages are dedicated to those artists who are members of the Schumann Forum, newly founded in 2011, and whose numbers, fortunately enough, we have been able to increase year after year.
Last but not least, we have, of course and as always, listed the members and partners of the Schumann Network with their respective contact data.
Enjoy reading the Schumann Journal,
Ingrid Bodsch & Irmgard Knechtges-Obrecht