CCM celebrates the 200th anniversary of composer Richard Wagner’s birth (May 22, 1813) with an unprecedented series of events this month. Beginning on Friday, Oct. 11, and running through Thursday, Oct. 24, CCM explores Wagner’s iconic work and enduring legacy with a series of guest lectures, film screenings and a concert performance by the CCM Philharmonia. Aside from the Oct. 12 Philharmonia performance, these events are free and open to the general public.
Richard Wagner was a 19th century German composer, theatre director, polemicist and conductor. He revolutionized opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), in which he combined the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts. His Gesamtkunstwerkalso greatly influenced many filmmakers, as detailed in the book Wagner and Cinema, co-edited by Jeongwon Joe, Associate Professor of Musicology at CCM, and Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of Germanic Studies at Emory University. According to Wagner and Cinema, early 20th century film critic W. Stephen Bush once declared, “Every man or woman in charge of the music of a moving picture theatre is, consciously or unconsciously, a disciple or follower of Richard Wagner.”
CCM’s bicentenary celebration opens at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, with a guest lecture by Anthony Tommasini, Chief Classical Music Critic for the New York Times. Other highlights include the CCM Philharmonia’s Oct. 12 concert, “Wagner – Redemption Through Love,” which features selections from Wagner’s operas to be performed with the cinematic images from Tony Palmer’s biographical film about Wagner, starring Richard Burton. CCM will also welcome film director Tony Palmer to campus for a discussion on his films on Thursday, Oct. 24.
To celebrate this towering figure of German Romanticism and the indelible impression he made on the cinematic arts, CCM will also present a series of free film screenings exploring Wagner’s life and legacy.
Please see individual listings below for additional information on the festival’s public events.