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Wasnez (left) with Pope John Paul II (right)
|Born||December 28, 1905|
|Died||June 21, 1992 (aged 86)|
|Occupation||priest, missionary, music director|
Franz Mathias Wasner (December 28, 1905 – June 21, 1992) was an Austrian Roman Catholic priest and the director and conductor of the Trapp Family Singers and a missionary. In the quasi-fictionalized stage and screen musical The Sound of Music, he is represented by the character Max Detweiler.
Wasner was born on December 28, 1905, in Feldkirchen near Mattighofen, a small town in Upper Austria. After graduating from the University of Innsbruck, he was ordained a priest and served in the small rural community of Mayrhofen in Tyrol for one year. He studied ecclesiastical law in Rome and graduated in 1934.
Father Wasner returned to Salzburg where he met Georg von Trapp. He and Trapp became close friends and from that time on he accompanied the Trapp family as director and conductor on all their concert tours. He also composed several masses and more than 60 songs to texts by various poets such as Ingeborg Bachmann, Christian Morgenstern and Georg Trakl.
He then[clarification needed] decided to do missionary work on the Fiji Islands until 1966. During his stay he commissioned murals in the small church of his station in Naiserelangi by the French artist Jean Charlot.
The Vatican appointed him rector of the "Collegio Santa Maria dell'Anima" (the domicile of German-speaking theology students in Rome) which he managed for over 15 years.
He died on June 21, 1992 in Salzburg.