The love triangle between Clara & Robert Schumann and Johnannes Brahms is a subject that person could write a decent-sized book about, but here is a condensed version of what we know and what we suspect.

Clara and Robert Schumann were the most famous musical couple in the German speaking world in the early 1850s. In 1853, young Johannes Brahms presented himself to the couple, asking if he could play some of his compositions. They were instantly impressed. The Schumanns welcomed Brahms into their home where they mentored him for several months, including instilling a love of early music which was very uncommon at the time. (musicians focused on the present-day and neglected the past in those days)

Five months after their meeting, Robert attempted suicide by jumping into the Rhine river after years of struggling with mental illness. He was rescued from drowning and taken to an aslyum at his request where he spent the remaining two years of his life. Brahms raced to Düsseldorf to assist Clara as soon as he heard the news, eager to help his generous mentors and friends in their time of need. He began to help Clara sort through Robert's affairs and look after her children as she prepared for both the birth of her seventh child and resuming her career as one of Europe's leading pianists.

As Johannes and Clara spent more time together, their feelings for each other deepened. Brahms wrote to a friend:
"I believe that I do not have more concern for and admiration for her than I love her and find live in her. I often have to restrain myself forcibly from just quietly putting my arms around her and even—: I don't know, it seems to me so natural that she could not misunderstand." 

Clara wrote in her diary:
"There is the most complete accord between us... It is not his youth that attracts me: not, perhaps, my flattered vanity. No, it is the fresh mind, the gloriously gifted nature, the noble heart, that I love in him."

After Robert's death, Clara and Johannes went to Switzerland accompanied by family. It was believed they were to marry. No one will ever know all that passed between them, and after this trip the two parted ways. Brahms never married, and Clara would never remarry; they would remain steadfast friends for the rest of their lives. There remains debate as to the exact nature of their relationship. We know for sure the remained close for the rest of their lives. Surviving letters to each other can be (and have been) interpreted as love letters. Clara died of a stroke in March of 1886, and Brahms' health declined shortly after, with him passing away 11 months after her.

One fact remains above all else; Clara & Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms formed a triangle of talent from which emerged some of the most admired and influential music of the Romantic period. Our next concert, For The Love Of Clara, features works by the men who loved her, along with Clara's ingenious piano concert.

Single tickets are $45, $42 Seniors, $10 Youth (under 19), $15 KSOundcheck Members, and can be purchased from Kamloops Live! Box Office at 250-374-5483 or