Symposium on the True Nature of Wagner’s Music

The online magazine Mosaic recently featured a symposium on Wagner’s music that included an essay by composer Nathan Shields and responses by PMH Resident Scholar James Loeffler, among others:


  • Nathan Shields: Wagner and the Jews: Two centuries after the great composer’s birth, his anti-Semitism remains a bitterly contested issue. Perhaps that’s because no one has yet come to grips with its, or his, true nature.


  • Edward Rothstein: Something More than Profound Prejudice: As Wagner illustrates, anti-Semitism is more than a mere dislike of Jews—it’s a metaphysical condition that shapes the very way the world is perceived.
  • Terry Teachout: “Going Under” in Europe: Wagner’s totalizing anti-Judaism is still alive. It just has a new face, fully revealed in this month’s attacks in Paris.
  • James LoefflerWagner’s Jewish Problem: Hating Wagner is a debilitating Jewish habit. So is loving him.


  • Nathan ShieldsCourting Oblivion: More insidious than Wagner’s hateful ideas are his passions, which reside in his music and stir answering passions in others.