Richard Wagner Foundation

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The Richard Wagner Foundation (in German Richard-Wagner-Stiftung) was formed in 1973, when, faced with overwhelming criticism and infighting amongst the descendants of Richard Wagner, [1] the Bayreuth Festival and its assets were transferred to the newly created Foundation. The board of directors included members of the Wagner family and others appointed by the state. [2]

Richard Wagner German composer

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Bayreuth Festival music festival

The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. Wagner himself conceived and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.

The Wagner family handed over the Festspielhaus and the Richard Wagner Archive to the Foundation and donated Wagner's villa Wahnfried to the town of Bayreuth. In 1976 the National Archive of the Richard Wagner Foundation (formerly known as the Richard Wagner Family Archive or Wahnfried Archive), was deposited with the Foundation. [3]

Wahnfried Richard Wagners villa in Bayreuth, Germany

Wahnfried was the name given by Richard Wagner to his villa in Bayreuth. The name is a German compound of Wahn and Fried(e).

In 2008 the Foundation's 24 board members, mostly descendants of Wagner, selected Katharina Wagner and her sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier to lead the Bayreuth Festival following the decision of Wolfgang Wagner to stand down. [4]

Katharina Wagner German opera director

Katharina Wagner is a German opera stage-director and co-director of the Bayreuth Festival. She is the daughter of Wolfgang Wagner, great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, and great-great granddaughter of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt.

Eva Wagner-Pasquier German opera manager

Eva Wagner-Pasquier is a German opera manager. She is the daughter of Wolfgang Wagner and Ellen Drexel. On 1 September 2008, Wagner-Pasquier and her half-sister Katharina Wagner were named as joint directors of the Bayreuth Festival which is largely dedicated to the stage works of their great-grandfather Richard Wagner.

Wolfgang Wagner was a German opera director. He is best known as the director (Festspielleiter) of the Bayreuth Festival, a position he initially assumed alongside his brother Wieland in 1951 until the latter's death in 1966. From then on, he assumed total control until he retired in 2008, although many of the productions which he commissioned were severely criticized in their day. He had been plagued by family conflicts and criticism for many years. He was the son of Siegfried Wagner, the grandson of Richard Wagner, and the great-grandson of Franz Liszt.

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Winifred Marjorie Wagner was the English-born wife of Siegfried Wagner, the son of Richard Wagner, and ran the Bayreuth Festival after her husband's death in 1930 until the end of World War II in 1945. She was a friend and supporter of Adolf Hitler, and she and Hitler maintained a regular correspondence.

Klaus Schulze German musician

Klaus Schulze is a German electronic music pioneer, composer and musician. He also used the alias Richard Wahnfried. He was briefly a member of the bands Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, and The Cosmic Jokers before launching a solo career consisting of more than 60 albums released across five decades.

Cosima Wagner daughter of the Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt

Cosima Wagner was the illegitimate daughter of the Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt and Marie d'Agoult. She became the second wife of the German composer Richard Wagner, and with him founded the Bayreuth Festival as a showcase for his stage works; after his death she devoted the rest of her life to the promotion of his music and philosophy. Commentators have recognised Cosima as the principal inspiration for Wagner's later works, particularly Parsifal.

Siegfried Wagner Son of Richard Wagner and Cosima Liszt

Siegfried Wagner was a German composer and conductor, the son of Richard Wagner. He was an opera composer and the artistic director of the Bayreuth Festival from 1908 to 1930.

Wahnfried may refer to:

Wieland Wagner was a German opera director.

Friedelind Wagner German opera director

Friedelind Wagner was the daughter of German opera composer Siegfried Wagner and his English wife, Winifred Williams and the granddaughter of the composer Richard Wagner. She was also the great-granddaughter of the composer Franz Liszt.

Nike Wagner German opera director

Nike Wagner is a German dramaturge, arts administrator and author. She directed the festival Kunstfest Weimar, and has been the director of the Beethovenfest from 2014. The daughter of Wieland Wagner, she is a great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, and a great-great‑granddaughter of Franz Liszt. She devoted books to the Wagner family and its cultural and political influence.

Gottfried Wagner German publicist

Gottfried Wagner is a multimedia director and publicist.

Baron Hans Paul von Wolzogen, was a German man of letters, editor and publisher. He is best known for his connection with Richard Wagner.

Verena Wagner Lafferentz Daughter of Siegfried Wagner

Verena Wagner Lafferentz was the fourth child and youngest daughter of Winifred and Siegfried Wagner, and the youngest granddaughter of German composer Richard Wagner. She was also a great-granddaughter of the composer Franz Liszt.

Wahnfried is a 1986 German-French drama film directed by Peter Patzak about the life of Richard Wagner. It was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.

Eva Chamberlain Daughter of Richard Wagner and Cosima Liszt

Eva Chamberlain (1867–1942) born Eva Maria von Bülow, was the illegitimate daughter of Richard Wagner and Cosima Wagner and the wife of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. When she was born, her mother was still married to Hans von Bülow. Through her mother, she was also a granddaughter of Franz Liszt. With her siblings Isolde and Siegfried, Eva was brought up by a house teacher.


  1. Riding, Alan. (31 July 2007). 'A Bayreuth Drama Worthy of, Well, Wagner'. The New York Times .
  2. .Statutes of the Foundation (in German) Archived 17 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine at Bayreuth Festival website.
  3. The Foundation and the National Archive. (Bayreuth, Germany).
  4. Paterson, Tony . (1 September 2008). 'Peace breaks out in Wagnerian feud'. The Independent . (Berlin, Germany).