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Eric Owens
A genius and an anti-Semite, Wagner
A genius and an anti-Semite, Wagner

It takes little effort to find severe problems with the character of Richard Wagner, the man who was born two centuries ago and, as he was the first to acknowledge, became one of history's greatest composers. It's much harder to dismiss his music, which is receiving extra attention around the world during this bicentennial year. Locally, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is taking a close look at Wagner over the next few months. The focus starts this week with a program featuring, in concert form, Act 1 from "Die Walkure," the second of four operas that comprise "The Ring of the Nibelung," the epic filled with heroic and villainous mortals, giants, troubled...