Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer, and is perhaps one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann made a good choice and left the study of law, to become a virtuoso pianist. He could have become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury - supposedly unintentionally self-inflicted - killed his dream. Schumann put all his musical energies into composing.
When he was 23 he began to suffer from severe melancholic depressive disorder, and 21 years later tried to take his own life. He admitted himself into an asylum, which back then was more dangerous than staying untreated in the outside world, and died there two years later.