RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
Wolfgang Wagner, son of Siegfried Wagner, grandson of Richard Wagner and great grandson of Franz Liszt, was born at Bayreuth in Germany on 30 August 1919. He studied trumpet and French horn. Siegfried Wagner had married an English woman - Winifred Williams-Klindworth, so Wolfgang was half English. Winifred was a friend of Adolf Hitler, who visited Wolfgang in hospital after Wolfgang had been wounded in the arm whilst serving in the German army during World War II.
After the war and the collapse of Germany, Wolfgang worked with his brother Wieland to resurrect the Wagner family business - the Bayreuth Festival - which has since run annually. When Wieland Wagner died in 1966, Wolfgang became the festival's sole director, overseeing the renovations to the opera house. He was criticised (mostly from within the family) for running the festival in a rather autocratic manner. He retired as director on 31 August 2008, at the end of that year's festival, and died in Bayreuth on 21 March 2010, aged ninety.
DVD Spotlight. Leaves of Regeneration - Wagner's 'Tannhäuser', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... a subtlety no other house can match.'
The Bayreuth Experience - Souvenirs of a festival in transition, by Malcolm Miller