August Bungert

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Born in 1845 in Mülheim in the Rhein area in Germany, Friedrich Augst Bungert was a child prodigy. After the death of his mother, he fled home at the age of 16. His father did not want to support his musical career.  Bungert went to Köln to study composition. before a sister of Max Bruch took him to the Paris Conservatorium to continue his studies there. Disappointed by the studies in Paris Bungert returned to Germany and worked as a conductor.

Bungert received a first price for the composition of one his most significant works of this time, the Piano Quartet in E flat major, opus 18. The judges of the competition were Johannes Brahms and Robert Volkmann. With the price money he travelled to Italy where he settled in Pegli near Genoa.

There he met Giuseppe Verdi and became the neighbour of Friedrich Nietzsche. What was more important, Bungert made the acquaintance of the Queen of Romania, Elisabeth of Wied, known as the poet Carmen Sylva. She would become of great importance in his later life and for his music. Bungerts wrote some of his most beautiful songs on her poetry. Elisabeth of Wied made him several presents including a Bechstein Grand and a beautiful Villa in Leutesdorf at the River Rhein.

Strongly influenced by „Der Ring des Nibelungen“ Bungert wrote his own operatic tetralogy “Die Homerische Welt-The Homeric world” and even planned to build an opera house in the style of Bayreuth in Bad Godesberg close to Bonn.
Bungert died after a long illness in his house in Leutesdorf in 1915.

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