Düsseldorf finally forgives Schumann that jump into the Rhine

Düsseldorf finally forgives Schumann that jump into the Rhine


norman lebrecht

September 26, 2018

More than 160 years after his death, the city of Düsseldorf s going to convert the former home of Robert Schumann into a permanent museum.

Schumann ended his relationship with the city, where he had been music director for four years, with an attempted suicide in February 1854.

The composer was carted off to an insane asylum and the city erased him from public memory, apart from a small placard on his house at Bilkerstrasse 15.

Now it is spending 3.2 million Euros on creating a museum, which will open in 2020. According to some estmates, Schumann composed about one-third of his mature works in the Düsseldorf house.


  • Jean says:

    Great news !

  • Erika says:

    It’s fantastic news that Bilkerstrasse 15 will become a museum. In fairness to Düsseldorf, however, it should be remembered that the Robert-Schumann-Forschungsstelle, the world’s preeminent Schumann research centre, has had its main office in the city since 1986.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Great news indeed and long overdue.

  • Urania says:

    I always liked Schumann and his music. He should have stayed with the Liszt and Wagner clan and overseen Clara. But destiny is a tough story sometimes.

  • Robert Groen says:

    Catchy headline, Norman! One of your best!

  • Sue says:

    Actually, if you’ve read anything at all authoritative about the composer you’ll know that he begged his wife to have him committed to an asylum. He certainly wasn’t ‘carted off’.

  • A Nonny Mouse says:

    Better late than never!

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    +1. Schumann and Dusseldorf belong together.

  • Hilary says:

    In addition some sort of statue ought to be placed in the Rhine at the point where RS attempted to drown himself. The sculptor should be Gormley who specialises in this kind of thing.

  • Charles Timbrell says:

    I played a Schumann-era spinet housed on the ground floor of the Schumann house 2 years ago. It was then a small one-room museum. I was told that the Schumann Society had been trying to get a cellist-tenant to move out for quite a while, so that the whole house could become a museum. I guess he finally gave in to pressure, and a good thing too!