Robert Schumann (June 8, 1810 July 29, 1856) was a German composer and pianist. He was one of the most famous Romantic composers of the first half of the 19th century. An intellectual as well as an aesthete, his music, more than any other composer, reflects the deep personal nature of Romanticism. Introspective and often whimsical, his early music was an attempt to break with the tradition of classical forms and structure which he thought too restrictive. Little understood in his lifetime, much of his music is now regarded as daringly original in harmony, rhythm and form. He stands in the front rank of German Romantics.