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Top 10 Love Affairs of Famous Romantic Composers


Famous composers, such as those belonging to the Romantic era, weren't only passionate about their music, they were also passionate about their respective love affairs. Here we will learn about the women who captured the hearts of composers during the Romantic period. Clicking on their names will bring you to their images and clicking on the composers name will take you to their biography.

1. Marii Wodziñskiej

Marii Wodziñskiej (1810 - 1869) - Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was friends with the Wodzinski family, they had a 17 year old daughter named Maria who was also a brilliant musician. Chopin fell in love with her and proposed marriage, Maria's mother accepted the proposal but advised Chopin to take better care of his health. Their short-lived engagement didn't end in marriage because Maria's parents eventually saw Chopin as unfit due to his poor health and irregular lifestyle. Photo fr. wikimedia.org

2. George Sand

Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
George Sand (1804 - 1876) - Another of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin's famous love affair. George Sand was a French writer whose real name was Aurore Dudevant. She was older than Chopin by six years, was divorced and had two children. George Sand was forced to part ways with Chopin in 1847 because of her son's disapproval of their relationship.

3. Clara Wieck

Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
Clara Wieck (1819 - 1896)- She was Robert Schumann's great love. Clara was the daughter of Friedrich Wieck and was also a gifted musician. Her father strongly opposed their relationship but Clara and Robert held on to their love and was married in 1840. Schumann's "Arabesque in C Major" was written for Clara. Clara remained faithful to Schumann even when the latter was admitted to an asylum. It has been mentioned that the composer Johannes Brahms also fell in love with Clara during this period.

4. Marie d'Agoult

Marie d'Agoult
Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
Marie d'Agoult (1805 - 1876) - Also known as Countess Marie d'Agoult, she was a German writer using the pen name Daniel Stern. Marie fell in love with Franz Liszt in 1833. During that time, she was married to Comte Charles d'Agoult but soon left her husband to be with Liszt. Marie and Liszt had three children but ended their relationship in 1844.

5. Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein

Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein (1819- 1887) - The sister of a Tsar, she was a Russian princess who was romantically involved with Franz Liszt. They met in 1847, she was married at that time and had a daughter, but chose to be with Liszt. She and Liszt tried to get married but their plans were thwarted when it turned out her divorce documents (she was granted a divorce from her former husband) needed to be reviewed. Nevertheless, they stayed together until Liszt' death in 1886. Photo from wikimedia.org

6. Cosima von Bulow

Cosima von Bulow (1837 - 1930) - She was the daughter of Franz Liszt and Countess Marie d'Agoult. She was married to the conductor Hans von Bulow and they had two children. Cosima fell in love with the composer Richard Wagner, they had two daughters of their own. In 1868, Cosima left her husband to be with Wagner and they got married in 1870. They had a son for whom Wagner composed "Siegfried Idylle." Photo from wikimedia.org

7. Giuseppina Strepponi

Giuseppina Strepponi
Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
Giuseppina Strepponi (1815 - 1897) - Her real name was Clelia Maria Josepha, she was a talented soprano. Giuseppina was Giuseppe Verdi's second wife and they lived together from 1848 to 1859. They finally got married in 1859.

8. Desirée Artôt

Desirée Artôt - She was a Belgian singer with whom Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky was enamored. She and Tchaikovsky became engaged but Desirée had to travel due to her career. On January 1869, Tchaikovsky received a telegram informing him that Desirée became engaged to a singer. Desirée and the singer were married on September 15, 1869. Photo from wikimedia.org

9. Cecile Jeanrenaud

Cecile Jeanrenaud
Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
Cecile Jeanrenaud - She was a painter and her father was a Lutheran clergyman. She was the wife of Felix Mendelssohn. Cecile and Mendelssohn married in 1837 and had five children.

10. Harriet Constance Smithson

Harriet Constance Smithson (1800 - 1854) - She was the first wife of Louis-Hector Berlioz. Berlioz saw her on a stage play where she played the part of Ophelia in "Hamlet" and Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet." They were married in 1833 but she died in 1854. Berlioz fondly called her Henriette. Photo from www.hberlioz.com

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