Elégie - Lucy Parham
Rêverie - Lucy Parham
Beloved Clara - Lucy Parham
Odyssey of Love - Lucy Parham
Nocturne - Lucy Parham
Beloved Clara

“A lovely entertainment, flawlessly performed”
***** (5 stars)

The story of the intense relationships between Robert Schumann, his wife Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms has always fascinated music lovers. This programme of music and readings brings their history to life. It chronicles the sometimes troubled marriage of Clara and Robert, the arrival in their household of the dynamic, 21-year-old Brahms, Robert’s decline into mental illness and the deepening relationship between Clara and Brahms, the exact nature of which has never been established. Music by all three is performed by the award-winning pianist Lucy Parham, interspersed with extracts from their letters and diaries, which are read by two celebrated actors.

Beloved Clara’s creation was inspired by Lucy Parham’s lifelong passion for the music of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Originally compiled from the wealth of existing correspondence between Brahms and the Schumanns by Lucy Parham and Jessica Duchen, Lucy Parham has subsequently updated Beloved Clara with new material and it is also constantly evolving through the many contributions from the actors involved.

Beloved Clara was premiered at the Wigmore Hall Masters Series in 2002. It has since been performed throughout the country in numerous festivals, concert halls and theatres. Highlights have included the Chichester, Harrogate and Salisbury Theatres, BAFTA, Oxford, Rye, North Norfolk Festivals and Chelsea Festivals, Royal Hall Harrogate, St John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall Celebrity Recital Series, Kings Place, and both the 2006 and 2010 Schumann Festivals. Beloved Clara made a critically acclaimed return to the Wigmore Hall in December 2010.

The international premiere of Beloved Clara took place at the Bergen International Festival in June 2007. The US première took place with a series of concerts in Los Angeles for LA Theatreworks in December 2008. It was broadcast across the USA on National Public Radio in 2010.

Actors who have appeared with Lucy Parham include Martin Jarvis, Juliet Stevenson, Jane Asher, Jeremy Irons, Harriet Walter, Eleanor Bron, Henry Goodman, Edward Fox, Joanna David, Stanley Townsend, Rosalind Ayres, Gabrielle Drake, Robert Glenister, Malcolm Sinclair, Christopher Bramwell, Christopher Cazenove, Timothy West, Charles Dance,Sebastian Koch, Tim McInnerny, Niamh Cusack and Alex Jennings.

Beloved Clara has been widely featured in the Independent, the Times, the Guardian, BBC Radio 4 (Woman’s Hour), BBC World Service, Classic FM, BBC Music Magazine, BBC Radio 3 (In Tune) and Pianist Magazine.

The CD of Beloved Clara, featuring actors Martin Jarvis and Joanna David, has been released to critical acclaim by Sanctuary/ASV. It was chosen as” CD of the Week” in the Sunday Times, the Guardian and the Observer.

Performance of 'Beloved Clara' at St Johnís Smith Square, London, with actors Harriet Walter and Henry Goodman
Click below to listen to an extract from Beloved Clara.
Narrated by Martin Jarvis and Joanna David

The Cast:

Tim McInnerny








Genial Design


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