Wagner, Wilhelm Richard (18131883)

Wagner, Wilhelm Richard, the great musical composer, born at Leipzig; showed early a faculty for music, and began the enthusiastic study of it under Beethoven; in 1835 became conductor of the orchestra of the theatre of Magdeburg, and held the same post afterwards at Riga and Königsberg; his principal works were “Rienzi” (1840), “The Flying Dutchman” (1843), “Tannhäuser” (1845), “Lohengrin” (1850), “Tristan and Isolde” (1859), “The Mastersingers of Nürnberg” (1859-60), and the “Ring of the Nibelungen,” the composition of which occupied 25 years; this last was performed in 1876 at Bayreuth in a theatre erected for the purpose in presence of the emperor of Germany and the principal musical artists of the world; “Parsifal” was his last work; his musical ideas were revolutionary, and it was some time before his works made their way in England (18131883).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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