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Clara Schumann gave her first Pest concerts in February 1856. A survey of the enthusiastic reviews reveals that she was received as the foremost representative of “classic art,” whose performances gave the Hungarian public—until then mostly admiring exhibitionist virtuosos—an entirely new idea about what music was capable of. The moral superiority of Clara seemed also confirmed by her generous donation to the future National Conservatory, which was initially commented on in the most flattering terms in the press. In early March, however, the Pester Lloyd aired that the generous donation may not have been absolutely voluntary, an anonymous go-between having forcefully talked the pianist into financially supporting the institution. Induced by the recent discovery of Clara Schumann’s original deed of foundation (acquired in July 2011 by the Music Collection of the National Széchényi Library) this article seeks to reconstruct the story in some detail by rehearsing the press debate surrounding the donation, exploring the financial situation of the Music Society of Pest-Buda in the 1850s, scrutinizing the minutes of its board meetings, as well as comparing Clara Schumann’s contribution with those given by other traveling musicians.

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, Zeneműtár), Fond 4. 11 For example Franz and Karl Doppler who were engaged as conductors, flutists and composers in the National Theater. 12 In 1867, the institution adopted the name National Music Conservatory (Nemzeti Zenede). Its legal successor, a middle

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