Wagner, Siegfried

COMPOSER (GERMANY)
BORN 6 Jun 1869, Triebschen (near Luzern) - DIED 4 Aug 1930, Bayreuth
GRAVE LOCATION Bayreuth, Bayern: Stadtfriedhof

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 Wagner 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
• Sister: Bülow, Isolde von
• Sister: Bülow, Eva von
• Sister: Bülow, Daniela von

Related persons
• was pupil to Humperdinck, Engelbert
• was a friend of Kittel, Carl
• was pupil to Mottl, Felix

Sources
• Blunt, Wilfrid, The Dream King, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1973
Encyclopedie van de Muziek, 1959
• Hamann, Brigitte, Winifred Wagner oder Hitlers Bayreuth, Piper, München, 2003

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)

 


Wagner, Wieland

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 16 Mar 2014