Bülow, Hans von

BORN 8 Jan 1830, Dresden, Sachsen - DIED 12 Feb 1894, Caïro
GRAVE LOCATION Hamburg: Friedhof Ohlsdorf, Fühlsbüttler Strasse 756 (V22 (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 and he conducted several Wagner opera's. In 1867 he became the director of music at the court in Munich.

His marriage was difficult and in 1870 he divorced Cosima, who had been living with Wagner for several 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". In 1882, when he was musical director in Meiningen, he married the actress Marie Schanzer. In 1887 they moved to Hamburg. 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: Wagner, Cosima (1857-1870, Berlin) (divorce or separation)
• Wife: Bülow, Marie von (1882-1894)

Related persons
• knew Draeseke, Felix August Bernhard
• was teacher of Franz, Helene, Freifrau von Heldburg
• worked for Georg II, herzog von Sachsen-Meiningen
• was teacher of Goldschmidt, Otto
• knew Hillebrand, Karl Arnold
• knew Klindworth, Karl
• was a friend of Laussot, Jessie
• was pupil of Liszt, Franz
• has a connection with Marie-Elisabeth, Prinzessin von Sachsen-Meiningen
• met Parsons, Albert Ross
• was a friend of Raff, Joachim
• was teacher of Rappoldi-Kahrer, Laura
• employed Strauss, Richard
• cooperated with Verhulst, Johannes
• cooperated with Wagner, Richard
• was pupil of 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]
25/4/1854Clara Schumann hears Liszt's "Piano sonata in B Minor" and strongly dislikes it. She received it on this day and it was dedicated to her husband Robert. Johannes Brahms played it for her and she strongly disliked it. The piece was performed in public in 1857 by Hans von Bülow and it would become both popular and influential. [Brahms, Johannes][Liszt, Franz][Schumann, Clara][Schumann, Robert]
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. [d'Agoult, Marie][Liszt, Franz][Wagner, Cosima]
8/2/1862Richard Wagner moves to Biebrich. He was once more in financial difficulties and he rented two rooms in a villa built by the architect Frickhöfer at the Rheingaustrasse 137 near Schloss Biebrich. It was also near his publisher Schott in Mainz. He worked there on his future opera "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" and he was visited by Hans and Cosima von Bülow. He left Biebrich in November. [Wagner, Cosima][Wagner, Richard]
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. [Wagner, 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. [Wagner, 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][Wagner, 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][Possart-Deinet, Anna von][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 enthousiastic 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 scandal because it was considered inappropriate that a composer received the honours of the public standing next to the king. [Bausewein, Kaspar][Diez-Hartmann, Sophie][Mallinger, Mathilda][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
Decoding the music masterpieces: Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor - ABC News

Bülow, Isolde von

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 18 Jan 2022