The annual Wagner Festival is the major event in Bayreuth. The rise to it was given by Richard Wagner. In 1872, on the composer’s birthday, a new theater was founded in the town, the construction of which was supervised personally by Wagner. The building was named a Festival Hall (Festspielhaus), and this name has quite justified itself. The first opera festival was held here in 1876, and the next - after six years.
The tradition could cease with the death of Wagner, but the composer's widow and daughter of another great musician - Franz Liszt - Cosima took matters into her own hands. Afterwards the event was led by her son Siegfried. And then, until 2008, a grandson of the great composer, Wolfgang, headed the Bayreuth Festival. The Festival is the biggest annual event in the world of opera music. The world’s leading musicians come to Bayreuth every summer to present their interpretation of Wagner's works. The Festival is held from late July to late August.