The New Student's Reference Work/Wagner, Wilhelm Richard
|←Wadsworth, James||The New Student's Reference Work (1914)
Wagner, Wilhelm Richard
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Wagner (väg′ nẽr or wag′ ner), Wilhelm Richard, a German musical composer, was born at Leipsic, May 22, 1813. He was educated at Dresden and Leipsic, and in 1836 was made conductor of the opera at Magdeburg. Rienzi and The Flying Dutchman were composed at Paris, where Rienzi was unsuccessfully put on the stage, but at Dresden it made him a musical conductor. For his next opera, Tannhäuser, he went to the old German songs, but the work was only partially successful when brought out at Dresden. During the Revolution of 1849 in Saxony Wagner was prominent as a leader and had to flee to Zurich, where he lived ten years until allowed to return. Lohengrin, composed before he left Dresden, was produced at Weimar under the direction of Liszt in 1850, and in answer to Liszt's call for a new creation he began his collection of operas based on the Nibelungenlied. In order to bring out his festival stage play, as he called his Nibelungen collection of operas, he built a theater at Baireuth, Bavaria. Founded on the old German poem, it was a great success both in Bavaria and at London, where Wagner was present at its performance in 1877. His last and perhaps greatest work, Parsifal, founded on the story of the Holy Grail, was finished at Palermo in 1882. He died at Venice, Feb. 13, 1883, and was buried at his home at Baireuth. See Holy Grail and Nibelungenlied. Consult Life by Nohl.