Clara Wieck was a pupil of her father Friedrich in Frankfurt and performed for the first time in public when she was ten years old, with success. After a lot of squabbles, she married Robert Schumann in 1840, and she was a close friend of Brahms, especially after Schumann's death in 1856. She worked as a piano teacher, first in Berlin and later in Frankfurt, from 1878-1892.
As a pianist of European stature she made since 1832 concert tours to Russia, the Netherlands and England. She mainly excelled in the work of Beethoven, Schumann and Chopin, and later on Brahms.
As a composer, she wrote a piano concerto, chamber music, a piano sonata, short piano pieces, songs and cadences for piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven.