Dieter Borchmeyer

Dieter Borchmeyer ( May 3, 1941 in Essen) is a German literary scholar and was 2004-2013 President of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts.


Borchmeyer began his studies in German and Catholic theology in 1961 at the University of Munich. According to the state exams and graduation, he taught from 1972 to 1979 at a Munich comprehensive school and was also a lecturer at the Department of Germanic Studies at the University. After his habilitation in 1979, he took professorships at the universities of Erlangen and Würzburg. In 1982 he was appointed Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Munich. Since 1988 he was Professor of Modern German Literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Heidelberg. From 1991-1993, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Modern Languages ​​. His time in Heidelberg was repeatedly interrupted by a visiting professor at numerous universities in France, Austria and especially the United States.

Borchmeyer is professor emeritus at the University of Heidelberg and honorary professor at the University of Graz in the framework of the Foundation Lectureship "Heidelberg lectures on the theory of culture ", he also teaches at the University of Heidelberg. From 2004 to 2013 he was president of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. His field of work is primarily the German literature from the 18th to the 20th century and the musical theater with monographs on Goethe, Schiller, Mozart, Richard Wagner, Nietzsche and Thomas Mann.


  • Since 2000 Honorary member of the Hungarian Goethe Society
  • 2000 Award of the Bavarian Prize for Literature (Karl Vossler Prize ) by the Bavarian State Minister for Science, Research and the Arts
  • Since 2002, a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts
  • Since 2004 President of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. Board of Trustees Chairman of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation (until 2013)
  • 2005 Awarded an honorary doctorate from the Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III
  • 2007 Honorary professor at the Karl- Franzens- University of Graz
  • 2009 Presentation of the Bavarian Constitution Medal in silver by the President of the Bavarian Parliament

Publications (selection )

  • Tragedy and the public. Schiller's drama in the context of his aesthetic- political theory and the rhetorical tradition. Munich 1973 ( Wilhelm Fink)
  • Courtly society and the French Revolution in Goethe. Aristocratic and bourgeois value system in the judgment of Weimar Classicism. Kronberg / Ts. 1977 ( Atheneum )
  • The Theatre of Richard Wagner. Idea - Seal - effect. Stuttgart 1982 ( Reclam )
  • Weimar Classicism. Portrait of an era. Weinheim 1994. Ed. Neuaufl. 1998 ( Beltz / Atheneum )
  • "The horror sweetness ". Annette von Droste- Hulshoff. Munich 1997 ( Hanser ). Reprint: Annette von Droste- Hulshoff. Only to secretly solve my hair. Munich 2003 ( German Taschenbuch Verlag )
  • Goethe. The time citizens. Munich 1999 ( Hanser )
  • Richard Wagner. Ahasuerus changes. Frankfurt am Main 2002 (Island )
  • Power and melancholy. Schiller's Wallenstein. Revised edition with a preface v. Raymond Klibansky. Neckargemuend and Vienna 2003 ( Mnemosyne Edition )
  • Drama and the World of Richard Wagner. Princeton University Press, 2003.
  • Goethe ( DuMont crash course ). Cologne 2005.
  • Mozart or the discovery of love. Frankfurt q.s. 2005 (Island )
  • Nietzsche, Cosima Wagner; Portrait of a friendship. Frankfurt 2008 (Island )
  • Richard Wagner. Work - life - time. Reclam, Ditzingen, 2013, ISBN 978-3-15-010914-4.
  • Richard Wagner: Seals and writings. Anniversary edition in 10 volumes. Edited [ and comments ] by D. B. Frankfurt q.s. 1983 ( Island)
  • Goethe: Dramas 1765-1775. Assisted by Peter Huber ed. [ and comments ] by D. B. In. Goethe: The Complete Works. Letters, diaries and interviews. I. Dept. Vol 4 Frankfurt aM 1985 ( German classics publisher)
  • Modern literature in basic terms. Edited by D. B. and Viktor Žmegač. Königstein / Ts. 1987 ( Atheneum ). Second, revised edition, Tübingen 1994 ( Niemeyer )
  • Goethe: Dramas 1776-1790. Assisted by Peter Huber ed. [ and comments ] by D. B. In: Goethe: The Complete Works. Letters, diaries and interviews. I.Abt. Vol.5. Frankfurt q.s. 1988 ( German classics publisher)
  • Goethe: works. 6 vols Winkler world literature thin printing [ new ed. , Provided with foreword and epilogues of DB] Munich 1992 (Artemis & Winkler )
  • Goethe: Dramas 1791-1832. Edited by D. B. and Peter Huber. In: In: Goethe: The Complete Works. Letters, diaries and interviews. I.Abt. Vol 6, Frankfurt aM 1993 ( German classics publisher)
  • Nietzsche and Wagner. Stations an epochal encounter. 2 vols Edited by D. B. and Jörg Salaquarda. Frankfurt q.s. 1994 (Island )
  • Richard Wagner. The Ring of the Nibelung. Views of the myth. Edited by Udo Bermbach and DB. Stuttgart 1995 ( Metzler )
  • Richard Wagner and the Jews. Edited by D. B., Ami Maayani and Susanne Vill. Stuttgart / Weimar 2000 ( Metzler )
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust. All seals. With an afterword by DB. Dusseldorf and Zurich 2003 (Artemis & Winkler )
  • The real thing. Martin Walser's " Death of a Critic ". Edited by D. B. / Helmuth Kiesel. Hamburg 2003 ( Hoffmann & Campe )
  • Mozart's operas. The manual. Edited by D. B. and Gernot Gruber. 2 partial volumes. Laaber 2007 ( Laaber )
  • Franz Wilhelm Beidler: Cosima Wagner. A portrait. Richard Wagner's first grandson: Selected writings and correspondence with Thomas Mann. Eds, come on. and with a biographical essay v. D. B. 3rd edition. Würzburg 2011 ( King & Neumann )
  • Baptized on music. Edited by Udo Bermbach and Hans Rudolf Vaget ( with selected bibliography ). Würzburg 2006 ( Königshausen and Neumann )

Borchmeyer is also editor of the book series " Heidelberger contributions to German literature " (since 1998), co-editor of the book series " theatron. Studies in the History and Theory of dramatic arts " (since 1988), the magazine" Wagner Spectrum " and the book series " Wagner in the discussion " ( since 2005). Approx. 300 posts in anthologies and essays mainly deal with German literature and theater history from the 18th to the 20th century. He is program book author, inter alia, the Bayreuth Festival and the Bavarian State Opera. His journalistic work has appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, time, and other newspapers and magazines.

Articles (Selection )

  • From the kiss of love and death, 2008.
  • What is German? Variations on a theme of Schiller Wagner to Thomas Mann, 2009