Bülow, Hans von

BORN 8 Jan 1830, Dresden - DIED 12 Feb 1894, Caïro
GRAVE LOCATION Hamburg: Ohlsdorfer Friedhof (V 22 1-8)

As a child, Von Bülow studied piano with Friedrich Wieck, Clara Schumann's father. He studied Law at the University of Leipzig, but music was still beckoning. He studied piano with Liszt, whose daughter Cosima he married in 1857. Von Bülow was a follower of Richard Wagner, who taught him how to conduct. He conducted several Wagner opera's and in 1867 he became the director of music at the Munich court.

In 1870 he divorced Cosima, who had been living with Wagner for years. He retired to Florence, but two years later he was back in the spotlights as the leading pianist of his time. He still admired Wagner's work, but now he preferred to praise Brahms.

In 1876 Von Bülow toured in the USA. After Wagner's death in 1883 Cosima received a message from him that said "soeur, il faut vivre".

Because of his failing health he went to Cairo in 1893 and he died there in 1894. His second wife Marie published his letters and writings and survived him for 47 years.

• Daughter: Bülow, Daniela von
• Wife: Liszt, Cosima (1857-1870, Berlin) (divorce)
• Wife: Bülow, Marie von (1882-1894)

Related persons
• knew Draeseke, Felix August Bernhard
• was teacher to Franz, Helene, Freifrau von Heldburg
• was teacher to Goldschmidt, Otto
• knew Klindworth, Karl
• was a friend of Laussot, Jessie
• was pupil to Liszt, Franz
• met Parsons, Albert Ross
• was teacher to Rappoldi-Kahrer, Laura
• employed Strauss, Richard Georg
• cooperated with Verhulst, Johannes Josephus Hermanus
• cooperated with Wagner, Richard
• was pupil to Wieck, Friedrich

6/10/1853Liszt visits Wagner in Basel. With him was a group of supporters, among them Hans von Bülow. They came from Karlsruhe where the music festival had taken place and they stayed until Saturday. [Liszt, Franz][Wagner, Richard]
20/4/1856Hans von Bülow asks Franz Liszt for the hand of his daughter Cosima. At first Liszt wouldn't give his blessing because he thought Bülow, with his strange moods and headaches, a scary person. He hoped that she would marry a nobleman. After Cosima's mother Marie d'Agoult declared herself against the marriage, Liszt changed his mind and gave his approval. [Agoult, Marie Christine Sophie de Flavigny, comtesse d'][Liszt, Cosima][Liszt, Franz]
1/11/1862Hans and Cosima von Bülow meet Richard Wagner in Leipzig. There was a concert where Hans von Bülow would play Liszt's new piano concert and Wagner would conduct the Tannhäuser ouverture and a new prelude to "The Meistersinger". Wagner's young friend Wendelin Weissheimer would also present his work. Wagner later stated in his autobiography that at this day he experienced his first feelings for Cosima and that he hardly noticed the music. [Liszt, Cosima][Wagner, Richard]
28/11/1863Richard Wagner and Cosima Liszt become lovers. Wagner was staying in Berlin because Cosima's husband Hans von Bülow had asked him to attend a concert. When Von Bülow was busy with the repititions Wagner and Cosima made a coach ride during which they confessed to each other that they belonged together. That night Wagner was staying in Von Bülow's house. [Liszt, Cosima][Wagner, Richard]
10/4/1865Hans von Bülow conducts the first repetition of "Tristan und Isolde". On the same day his wife Cosima bore a daughter, that was named Isolde. Isolde's father was Richard Wagner, the composer of "Tristan and Isolde". [Bülow, Isolde von][Liszt, Cosima][Wagner, Richard]
10/6/1865Premiere of Richard Wagner's "Tristan Und Isolde" in Munich. Hans von Bülow was the conductor. "Tristan und Isolde" was refused in Paris, Vienna and Karlsruhe because it would be 'impossible to perform'. The performance started at six and ended shortly before midnight. Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld was Tristan and his wife Malvina was Isolde. King Ludwig II of Bavaria was there. [Garrigues, Eugenia Malvina][Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Ludwig][Wagner, Richard]
21/6/1868Premiere of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nünberg". It was staged in Munich in the presence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Hans von Bülow was the conductor. Ludwig insisted that Wagner would sit next to him in the royal box. after the first act the public was very entousiastic and demanded to see the composer. But Wagner didn't show himself. Only after the last act he rose to accept the ovation of the public. This caused a schandal because it was considered inappropriate that a composer received the honours of the public standing next to the king. [Bausewein, Kaspar][Diez-Hartmann, Sophie][Strauss, Franz Joseph][Wagner, Richard]


The grave of Hans von Bülow at the Ohlsdorfer Friedhof in Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (26 Jan 2006)


Encyclopaedia Britannica
• Marek, George R., Cosima Wagner, Ein Leben für ein Genie, Knaur, München, 1993
• Prahacs, Margit, Franz Liszt, Briefe aus Ungarischen Sammlungen 1835-1886, Bärenreiter, Kassel, 1966
Villa Wahnfried (Wagner Museum), Bayreuth
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909

Bülow, Isolde von

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 30 Jan 2018