Cornelius, Peter

BORN 24 Dec 1824, Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz - DIED 26 Oct 1874, Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz
BIRTH NAME Cornelius, Peter Carl August
GRAVE LOCATION Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz: Hauptfriedhof (Jung family tomb)

Peter Cornelius started a career as an actor when he was seventeen years old. Two years later he became a Court actor. At the same time he studied the violin as well as composition. His father died when he was twenty years old and he went to Berlin to live with his uncle, the painter Peter von Cornelius.

In Berlin he studied music and he met Alexander von Humboldt and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. After his studies he went to Weimar where he met Franz Liszt. In Weimar he wrote his opera "Der Babier von Bagdad". In 1858 he moved to Vienna, where he met Hebbel and Wagner.

Wagner introduced him to King Ludwig II, who engaged him as a teacher at the new Music School in Munich in 1867. In the same year he married Berthe Jung (d.1904), a friend from his youth. They had a daughter and three sons. He was best known for his songs and in 1874 he suddenly died of diabetes in Mainz.

Related persons
• is nephew/niece of Cornelius, Peter von
• knew Hebbel, Friedrich
• was influenced by Liszt, Franz
• met Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix
• was influenced by Wagner, Richard


The grave of Peter Cornelius at the Hauptfriedhof, Mainz.
Picture by Androom (27 Jul 2018)


• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973
Baedeker's Rhine, Baedeker, Stuttgart, 1985
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909

Cornelius, Peter von

Published: 26 Aug 2018
Last update: 09 Nov 2023