Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner was born in Water Rooster - Kuei Yu Year of the 60-year Cycle of the Chinese Zodiac

Born on May 22, 1813 and died on February 13, 1883 Richard Wagner was raised in Germany and is a famous theater director, conductor, and composer. He is noted for rich harmonies and textures and the use of musical phrases associated with individual characters, places or elements. He greatly influenced the development of classical as well as modern music. His composition Tristan and Isolde is the start of modern music. Wagner built his own opera house the Bayreuth Festspielhaus incorporating many new design elements. Ring and Parsifal was premiers in this opera house and his most popular stage works continue to be performed here. Wagner?€™s early life can be termed in political exile, poverty, flight from creditors and many love affairs. His life filters though is his writing on music, politics and drama. He expressed definite anti-Semitic sentiments in his works, and his ideas still filter though works in the 20th century. Wagner was highly influenced by Beethoven and he wrote a transcription for the piano of the 9th Symphony. His first piano sonatas and overtures come from the period of 1827 through 1831. In 1831 Wagner?€™s Piano Sonata in B-flat major was published as Wagner?€™s Op. 1. In 1832 Wagner composed Symphony in C major which was similar to Beethoven?€™s technique. In 1840 Wagner moved to Dresden and was appointed the Royal Saxon Court Conductor. He staged Der fliegende Hollander and Tannhauser. During his Dresden period he became involved in left-wing politics and was asked to leave Dresden. Wagner?€™s exile in Switzerland left him is poverty. He lived off small pensions given to him by friends. He wrote a set of essays The Artwork of the Future in 1849 which was a vision of opera. He wrote Judaism in Music in 1850 (anti-Semitic). In 1861 he produced Opera and Drama and went on to write The Valkyrie and Das Rheingold. Wagner?€™s fortunes changed in 1864 when King Ludwig II brought him to the court. Ludwig settle Wagner?€™ debts and staged Tristan, Die Meistrsingr, the Ring and other Wagner operas. His Tristan and Isolde premiered in June of 1865. More personal strife followed Wagener with the birth of a child via a scandalous love affair, his exile from Court and subsequent moving to Switzerland. Here he finally married his love Cosima van Bulow and they stayed married until the end of Wagner?€™s life.
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