Nike Wagner

Nike Wagner, was born in 1945 and grew up in Bayreuth. The great-great-granddaughter of the composer Franz Liszt, the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, and the daughter of Wieland Wagner, she is married and has one daughter.

She studied musicology, theatre and literature in Berlin, Chicago, Paris and Vienna, and took her doctorate with a dissertation on »Karl Kraus and the Eroticism of Viennese Modernism« (published by Suhrkamp 1981).

Since 1975 Nike Wagner has worked as a freelance writer on cultural matters, as well as contributing to international symposiums and colloquiums. She became known as an author as a result of her works on the cultural and intellectual history of Europe at the turn of the twentieth century; as a critic and essayist she is best known for her works on Richard Wagner and Bayreuth. Wagner’s œuvre in the context of recent German history and the historical entanglement of family, œuvre and culture are the themes of her books »Wagner Theater« (1982) and »Traumtheater« (2001).

From 1985 to 1987,  Nike Wagner was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. In 1999 became a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature, whose vice-president she has been since October 2011. In 2003 she was an expert witness to the German parliament’s commission of enquiry into the arts in Germany, and in 2012 she was made an honorary professor at the college of education in Heidelberg.

From 2004 until 2013, Nike Wagner was the artistic director of the »pèlerinages« arts festival in Weimar. In November 2013, she was awarded The Thuringian Order of Merit for a dramaturgy in which she combined music, dance, image and the spoken word in an artistically groundbreaking way.

Nike Wagner has been Intendant (Director General) of the Beethovenfest Bonn since 2014.

Nike Wagner beim Beethovenfest






11:00 am

‘Egmont’ redivivus

  • Nike Wagner Speaker
  • Markus Meyer narrator
  • Sophia Brommer soprano
  • Beethoven Orchester Bonn
  • Philharmonischer Chor der Stadt Bonn
  • Dirk Kaftan Conductor
Works by Mauricio Kagel, Ludwig van Beethoven and Paul Griffiths
Universität Bonn, Aula