German conductor and teacher Wolfgang Gönnenwein was born in Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg on 29 January 1933. He studied music and German in Heidelberg and Tübingen.
From 1968 he was professor of choral conducting at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart, where he later became Rektor from 1973 until 1982. From 1985 until 1992 he was Generalintendant of the Staatstheater Stuttgart. He was director of the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele for over thirty years, until 2004.
He was also a politician from 1988 until 1991, acting as voluntary state secretary for art in Baden-Württemberg.
Wolfgang Gönnenwein died on 26 July 2015, aged eighty-two.