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Richard Wagner – Life and career dates

The Life and Work of Richard Wagner- An Overview: 22nd May 1813 – 13th February 1883

22nd May: Richard Wagner is born in Leipzig, the son of Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner, a clerk in the police force, and his wife Johanna Rosine, nee. Pätz.
23rd November: Death of his father
28th August: Wagner’s mother marries Ludwig Geyer. The family then moves to Dresden.
1820 In early Autumn Wagner is enrolled as a boarder at Pastor Wetzel’s school in Possendorf.
1821 30th September: Death of Ludwig Geyer
1822 2nd December: Wagner is sent to the Kreuz Grammar School in Dresden.
1827 8th April: Wagner is confirmed.
21st January: Wagner enters the Nikolai Grammar School in Leipzig. He begins his studies in composition in the same year.
1830 16th June: Wagner transfers to the Thomas School.
24th December: Performance of his Overture in B flat major (now lost) at the Leipzig Theatre.
1831 23rd February: Wagner matriculates as a student of music at the University of Leipzig. In the autumn he begins to take composition lessons with the Cantor at St Thomas’ Christian Theodor Weinlig.
1832 Performance of some of his orchestral works in Leipzig
1833 In January Wagner moves to Würzburg to take up a post as choir master.
In the summer Wagner becomes Music Director of the Bethmann Theatre Company. He meets Minna Planer.
29th March: First performance of Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love).
7th June: Wagner follows Minna Planer to Königsberg.
24th November: Wagner marries Minna Planer in Königsberg.
1st April: Wagner becomes Director of Music at the Königsberg Theatre.
21st August: Wagner arrives in Riga and becomes Director of Music at the theatre.
19th October: His wife Minna returns to Wagner after a five-month separation.
In March Wagner loses his position at the Riga Theatre. .
9th July: Wagner embarks with Minna on a journey to London and then Paris.
17th September: Richard and Minna Wagner arrive in Paris.
1842 April: Wagner settles in Dresden.
20th October: First performance of Rienzi
2nd January: First performance of Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman)
2nd February: Wagner is made Hofkapellmeister (court master) in Dresden.
6th July: First performance of Das Liebesmahl der Apostel (The Feast of Pentecost)
1845 19th October: First performance of Tannhäuser
1848 9th January: Death of Wagner’s mother
1849 Early May: Wagner takes part in the uprising in Dresden.
16th May: Following the failure of the uprising a warrant for Wagner’s arrest is issued.
24th May: Wagner flees to Switzerland.
September: Minna follows him there and they settle in Zurich.
1850 In the spring Wagner stays in France and has an affair with Jessie Laussot.
3rd July: Wagner returns to Minna.
28th August: First performance of Lohengrin in Weimar.
1852 15th December: Completion of the libretto of the Ring
1853 1st November: Begins composition of Das Rheingold
1855 From March to the end of July Wagner stays in London as a guest conductor.
1857 28th April: The Wagners move into a summerhouse in Zurich on the estate of Otto Wesendonk, a silk merchant, and his wife Mathilde.
1st October: Begins composition of Tristan and Isolde
1858 Early January: Because of “confusion with the neighbours” Wagner retires to Paris for a few weeks.
17th August: Wagner leaves Zurich because of the turmoil in his marriage and travels to Venice.
In September Minna returns to Germany.
1859 In March Wagner returns to Switzerland.
6th August: Wagner completes the score of Tristan and Isolde.
September: In order to prepare for concerts and the performance of Tannhäuser, Wagner settles in Paris, where he resumes living with Minna in September.
1861 In July Wagner leaves his primary residence in Paris following his partial amnesty in Germany.
1862 In February Wagner moves into lodgings in Biebrich.
1863 Wagner travels to Vienna, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Budapest, Prague and Karlsruhe where he attends concerts etc.
12th May: Wagner moves into lodgings in Vienna, which he furnishes opulently.
28th November: According to his autobiography “My Life”, Wagner and Cosima von Bülow seal a vow to belong to each other alone.
1864 In March Wagner is threatened with arrest for his debts. He flees to Stuttgart via Switzerland.
4th May: Wagner and King Ludwig II stand face to face for the first time in the Munich Residenz.
15th October: Wagner moves into a house in Briennerstrasse in Munich.
1865 10th April: Isolde, Wagner’s first child with Cosima is born.
10th June: First performance of Tristan and Isolde in the National Theatre in Munich.
10th December: Wagner is forced to leave Munich as a persona non grata.
1866 25th January: Minna Wagner dies.
15th April: Wagner moves into the Villa Tribschen near Lucerne.
1867 17th February: Eva, Wagner’s second child with Cosima, is born.
1868 21st June: First performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).
1869 6th June: Siegfried, Wagner’s third child with Cosima, is born.
1870 In July the marriage of Hans and Cosima von Bülow is formally dissolved by the court.
25th August: Richard und Cosima Wagner are married.
1872 1st February: Wagner founds the administrative board of the Bayreuth Festival (Bayreuther Festspiele).
1873 2nd August: Inaugural celebration of the opening of the Festspielhaus
1874 28th April: The Wagner family moves into the Haus Wahnfried
1876 13th - 17th August: First performance of the Ring des Nibelungen
1882 26th July: First performance of Parsifal
13th February: Wagner dies in Venice following a heart attack.
18th February: Wagner is buried in the garden of the Haus Wahnfried
Wagner, Richard; Foto: Archiv Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig
Wagner, Richard; Photo: Archiv Leipzig Museum of City History
Richard Wagner’s birthplace. Photo: Herrmann Walter 1886, (Leipzig Museum of City History)
Richard Wagner’s birthplace. Photo: Herrmann Walter 1886, (Leipzig Museum of City History)
Richard Wagner – Nikolai School, Leipzig 1716 (Source: Leipzig Cultural Foundation)
Richard Wagner – Nikolai School, Leipzig 1716 (Source: Leipzig Cultural Foundation)
Richard Wagner – The Old Theatre, Leipzig (Source: Leipzig Cultural Foundation)
Richard Wagner – The Old Theatre, Leipzig (Source: Leipzig Cultural Foundation)
Source: Geck, Martin(2004), Richard Wagner, 1st Edition: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag