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Richard Wagner - Leipzig's most famous tone poet

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner, the most influential composer of the high romantic period, was born in Leipzig on 22 May 1813 in the "House of the Red and White Lion", the last of nine children. The house of his birth on Brühl boulevard 319, later no. 1-3, was torn down in 1886. 

From June 1813, Wagner attended St. Thomas school, although he left without completing the final exam. The young artist secretly received his first musical harmony training from Gewandhaus musician Christian Gottlieb Müller.

In order to devote himself entirely to student life and music, Wagner enrolled in "studiosus musicae" at the Leipzig University in February 1831. Soon thereafter, he became a student under the St. Thomas choirmaster Christian Theodor Weinlig. The choirmaster recognised Wagner's musical talents and encouraged him. Wagner later expressed his admiration for Weinlig by dedicating his Opus I (Piano Sonata in B flat major) to his teacher. In 1843, he dedicated his male-choir ouvre "Das Liebesmahl der Apostel" to his teacher's widow.

In the Gewandhaus, Wagner learned Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies, and was inspired to compose his own symphony. He was 17 years old the first time his music was played in Leipzig – his Overture in B flat major was performed in the Comödienhaus at Christmas in 1830. Wagner's music was first performed in the Gewandhaus in February 1832 (Overture in D minor).

The Richard Wagner festival days in Leipzig

The Richard Wagner monument, which is a stop on the Notenspur (music trail), can be seen on the right in the image, cultural venue
© Andreas Schmidt