Edward Dannreuther (4 November 1844, Strasbourg – 12 February 1905, Hastings) was a German pianist and writer on music, resident from 1863 in England. His father had crossed the Atlantic, moving to Cincinnati, and there established a piano manufacturing business. Young Edward, under pressure from his father to enter banking as a career, a prospect he found uncongenial, escaped to Leipzig in 1859.He trained as a musician at the Leipzig Conservatoire, where he was a pupil of Ignaz Moscheles. A youthful champion of Wagner, he founded the London Wagner Society in 1872. In 1863 he had been recruited by Henry Chorley to play the piano in London at the Crystal Palace concerts. His performances of Chopin and Beethoven were well received; after his marriage in 1871 he decided to settle permanently in England.Dannreuther became a professor of piano at the Royal College of Music in 1895, a position he held until his death. An enthusiast for new music, he was an important influence on the composer Hubert Parry, who was his pupil. A memorial plaque on his former home at 12 Orme Square, Westminster, London was unveiled on 26 July 2005.His son Hubert Edward Dannreuther was a British admiral and one of six survivors of the sinking of HMS Invincible.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (/ˈvɑːɡnər/; German: [ˈʁiçaʁt ˈvaːɡnɐ]; 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama, and which was announced in a series of essays between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. It was here that the Ring and Parsifal received their premieres and where his most important stage works continue to be performed in an annual festival run by his descendants. His thoughts on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, and he reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).Until his final years, Wagner's life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment in recent decades, especially where they express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; their influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre.