Hans Richter

Hans Richter was born in Raab (in present-day Hungary) on 4 April 1843; his father was a cathedral conductor and his mother an opera singer. After his father’s death, he received his further education in Vienna, first as a choirboy, then at the conservatory. From 1862 to 1866 he was horn player with the orchestra of the Kärntnertortheater, before coming to Tribschen in October 1866 to join Richard Wagner, where he copied the score of his opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. As musical assistant, he took part in the rehearsals for the Munich premiere of the same opera and was eventually appointed royal music director here. As early as the following year, however, i. e. 1869, he gave up this post again because he refused to premiere Das Rheingold against the composer’s wishes. Instead, Franz Wüllner was to conduct the first performances of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre in Munich, which King Ludwig II had longed for. From June 1870 Richter worked as Wagner’s secretary in Tribschen, where he also copied the score of Siegfried. From 1871 he was Kapellmeister at the National Theatre in Pest, and from 1875 he worked at the Vienna Court Opera, conducting, among other things, the concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic between 1875 and 1898. He was the conductor of the first complete Ring performances in 1876 in Bayreuth, where he conducted a total of 77 performances, and conducted the German opera performances at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden between 1903 and 1910. Richter died in Bayreuth on 5 December 1916.

Photo credit: By Herbert Rose Barraud, Public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29443729