Violinist Thomas Eisner: how I made it to Bayreuth


Violinist Thomas Eisner talks about his time with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra

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The earliest memories I have of Wagner’s music are somewhat mixed. I recall my paternal grandmother sitting at our upright piano in the north of England attempting to sing ‘Hojotoho!’ from Die Walküre. Although she was a trained singer, her career seems to have abruptly finished at the age of 21, when my father was born. My mother didn’t have the same love for Wagner. She remembered only too well the fanfares from Act 3 of Die Meistersinger  von Nürnberg  being broadcast through the streets of Berlin shortly before Hitler addressed the nation. At music college we performed Das Rheingold. Long and difficult, I thought, and easy to fall asleep in…

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