22 May 1813, Leipzig – 13 February 1883, Venice
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theater director, polemicist and conductor primarily known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, „music dramas„). 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.
Tristan und Isolde (Prelude) Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein
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.
Richard Wagner – Der Ring des Nibelungen