Since 1 September 2015, Katharina Wagner, the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, has been artistic director of the Bayreuther Festspiele, as well as the managing director of Bayreuther Festspiele GmbH. From 1 September 2008 she and her half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier had held the two positions jointly. Katharina Wagner is also managing director of BF Medien GmbH, a subsidiary of the Bayreuth Festival. Born in 1978 in Bayreuth, she studied theatre at the Free University of Berlin and now lives by turn in Bayreuth and Berlin. During her studies, she also held numerous assistant director positions under, among others, Keith Warner and Harry Kupfer at the Staatsoper unter den Linden and the New National Theatre in Tokyo. Her productions include Der fliegende Holländer in Würzburg (2002), Lohengrin in Budapest (2004) and Der Waffenschmied at the Staatstheater in Gärtnerplatz in Munich (2005). Katharina Wagner made her Berlin debut with the staging of Giacomo Puccini's Il Trittico in 2006. After the young director had worked as assistant director and employee of the festival management at the Bayreuth Festival since 1996, her directorial debut on the Green Hill followed in the summer of 2007 with Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The first public viewing of the much-discussed production was watched by 40,000 people at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008 within the Siemens Festival Night and was the first live recording with all the audience reactions to be released on DVD in the festival’s history. It was followed by productions of Rienzi at the Bremen Theatre (2008), Tannhäuser in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (2009) and Puccini's Madama Butterfly (2010) and Tiefland (2011) at the Staatstheater in Mainz. At the Bayreuth Festival 2015, she staged Tristan and Isolde, with the musical direction being undertaken by Christian Thielemann. Since the winter semester 2010/2011, Katharina Wagner has been Honorary Professor at the Department of Directing at the "Hanns Eisler" Academy of Music, Berlin. Together with her half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier, she was honoured with the "B.Z. Culture Award" in 2010 and the "Bavarian Culture Award" in 2012. In 2013, she was awarded the "Grand Decoration of Honour of the Province of Burgenland" by the Burgenland Regional Government.