Nike Wagner

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Nike Wagner (born on 9 June 1945 at Überlingen on Lake Constance in Germany) is a German arts administrator and scholar. She is the daughter of Wieland Wagner and the choreographer Gertrud Reissiger. Her paternal great-grandfather was Richard Wagner, and she is also the great-great‑granddaughter of Franz Liszt.[1]

Wagner holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, obtained in 1980 under the direction of Erich Heller. She is the author of several important books on a variety of subjects, which include Karl Kraus (Geist und Geschlecht: Karl Kraus und die Erotik der Wiener Moderne, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 1982 — a work based on her doctoral dissertation) and the Wagner family (The Wagners: The Dramas of a Musical Dynasty, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 2001). Her article questioning the propriety of public subsidies given to high-profile cultural events in general, and the Bayreuth Festival in particular (at present c.US$6.5 million annually), Im Fadenkreuz der Kulturpolitik, published in the July 2006 issue of Cicero: Magazin für politische Kultur, engendered controversy within Germany.

In 2004, Wagner became the director of the Kunstfest Weimar, later renamed the Pèlerinages Festival in honour of Liszt. She stood down from the post in September 2013. In 2013, she was named the director of the Beethovenfest,[2] and assumed this post in January 2014.[3]

Other publications[edit]

  • Nike Wagner, et al., Mann, sei nicht so hysterisch (Munich, Matthes und Seitz, 1991).
  • Nike Wagner, Wagner-Theater (Frankfurt am Main, Insel-Verlag, 1998).
  • Nike Wagner, Traumtheater: Szenarien der Moderne (Frankfurt am Main, Insel-Verlag, 2001).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anastassia Boutsko (2011-10-20). "Nike Wagner on her great-great grandfather Liszt". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  2. ^ Marita Berg (2013-05-24). "Wagner meets Beethoven in Bonn music festival". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 
  3. ^ Rick Fulker (2013-09-27). "Nike Wagner: Handle artists with kid gloves". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 


  • Jan Brachmann, ‘Das Zertrümmern ist langweilig geworden: Nike Wagner über Heimweh, Autoritäten, Bayreuther Marktlärm und ostdeutsche Kaffeepausen’, Berliner Zeitung, August 21, 2004, p. M4 (Magazin Section) [an interview with Nike Wagner].
  • David Littlejohn, [untitled review of Nike Wagner’s The Wagners: The Dramas of a Musical Dynasty], Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, vol. 58, No. 4 (June 2002), pp. 828–831.

Further reading[edit]