Wagner, Siegfried

COMPOSER (GERMANY)
BORN 6 Jun 1869, Triebschen (near Luzern) - DIED 4 Aug 1930, Bayreuth, Bayern
REAL NAME Wagner, Siegfried Helferich Richard
GRAVE LOCATION Bayreuth, Bayern: Stadtfriedhof (A 1b/910)

Only son of the Richard Wagner and his mistress Cosima von Bülow (who married Wagner in 1870). After he was born his father composed the "Siegfriedidyll".

Siegfried Wagner was taught music by Engelbert Humperdinck, who had assisted his father with the staging of his last opera Parsifal. The "Sohn des Meisters" ("son of the master") wrote opera's himself and "Der Bärenhäuter" (1898) became a moderate succes in Munich, but his other opera's failed to become popular and after his death four of them had never been performed.

In 1909 he became the leader of the Festspiele in Bayreuth, replacing his ailing mother Cosima. Siegfried was a nationalist, loathed democracy (not uncommon in those days), detested jews and was very enthousiastic about the young Hitler, who had become a personal friend of the Wagners long before he came to power.

Siegfried worked hard and continued to do so when his health started to fail. As a result he had a heart attack and he died a few weeks later.

It was claimed that he had a son, Walter Aign (1901-1977), by the wife of a clergyman from Bayreuth. But there was no proof for this and he certainly had homosexual relations with other men. Pushed by his family to produce an heir (and under the threat of being blackmailed because of his homosexuality by Maximilian Harden) he finally married in 1915 and his young wife Winnifred bore him four children in rapid succession.

After Siegfried died in 1930 Winnifred succeeded him as the leader of the Festspiele. His sons Wieland and Wolfgang took over the Festspiele after the Second World War.

Family
• Mother: Liszt, Cosima
• Father: Wagner, Richard
• Son: Wagner, Wieland
• Son: Wagner, Wolfgang
• Wife: Wagner-Williams, Winnifred (1915-, Bayreuth)
• Sister: Bülow, Isolde von
• Sister: Bülow, Eva von
• Sister: Bülow, Daniela von

Related persons
• quarreled with Beidler, Franz
• was written about by Harden, Maximilian
• was pupil to Humperdinck, Engelbert
• was a friend of Kittel, Carl
• was pupil to Mottl, Felix
• met Wilde, Oscar

Events
22/1/1899Premiere of Siegfried Wagner's "Der Bärenhäuter" in Munich. It was his first and also his most succesful opera. [Bausewein, Kaspar]
16/3/1900Premiere of Siegfried Wagner's "Der Bärenhäuter" at the State Opera in Berlin. Karl Muck was the conductor and Eugen Quaglio had designed the scenery. Actors were Wilhelm Grüning, Rudolf Wittekopf, Marie Dietrich, Thessa Gradl, Emilie Herzog, Emil Stammer, Julius Lieban and Therese Rothauser. 

Images

The grave of Siegfried, Wieland and Winnifred Wagner at the Stadtfriedhof, Bayreuth.
Picture by Androom (25-08-1996)

 

The Wagner gravesite at the Stadtfriedhof, Bayreuth.
Picture by Androom (24 Jan 2006)

 

Sources
• Blunt, Wilfrid, The Dream King, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1973
Encyclopedie van de Muziek, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1959
• Hamann, Brigitte, Winifred Wagner oder Hitlers Bayreuth, Piper, München, 2003
• Marek, George R., Cosima Wagner, Ein Leben für ein Genie, Knaur, München, 1993


Wagner, Wieland

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 17 Jun 2018