Max Reger

Max Reger

Brand, Landkreis Tirschenreuth, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Death 11 May 1916 (aged 43)
Leipzig, Stadtkreis Leipzig, Saxony (Sachsen), Germany
Burial Grosshadern, Stadtkreis München, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
Memorial ID 7147604 · View Source
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Pianist, Composer, Conductor,. He received notoriety during the early 20th century as a German pianist. Born Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger in Brand, Bavaria, he lived in the nearby town of Weiden, since the age of one. He studied at the local school where his father was a music teacher, who had published music textbooks. He received his earliest training in harmony and piano from his parents before meeting Adalbert Lindner, a local organist and one of his fathers former students. Lindner recognized the talents of this eleven-year-old boy and recommend him to the organ teacher Hugo Riemann. In 1922 Lindner published his biography “Max Reger: A Picture of his Youthful Life and Artistic Becoming.” In April of 1890 he left home to study with Riemann at the Sondershausen Conservatory, even changing schools when Riemann left Sondershausen for the Wiesbaden Conservatory in April of 1891. In October of 1896 he joined the military as a one-year volunteer. Heavily in debt and in poor health, due to an ulcer on the neck he is released after a year. In consequence of his military service and professional setbacks, he suffers a mental and physical breakdown and returns to his parents home in 1898. He had suffered from depression related to him being the only child of the family's four children to live to adulthood and often would self-medicate using alcohol. In Weiden his productivity increases enormously and he can persuade his family to move to Munich. During this period, he produced his “Chorale fantasia Ein Feste Burg is Unser Gott” and his “Fantasy & Fugue in C minor”. Reger also earned a reputation as a brilliant pianist at this time, playing many concerts of wide-ranging repertoire, including his own works. In 1902 he marries Elsa von Bercken a divorced protestant, which results in his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church. In 1905 he followed Joseph Rheinberger as a professor of counterpoint at Royal Academy of the Art of Music in Munich, but due to disagreements with the predominantly conservative faculty he leaves after only one year. In the following year he's appointed music director at the University of Leipzig and conductor of the University Choir St. Pauli. During this time, he toured Russia. Although he resigned his post as director and conductor after a year, he continued teaching composition there for the rest of his life. Duke George II von Sachsen-Meiningen appoints him court conductor in Meiningen in 1911.. Due to overwork and his continued abuse of alcohol, his mental and physical health suddenly declines in February of 1914 during a concert in Hagen. He is forced to cancel all concerts of the tour and gives up the position as court conductor. By September of 1914, he had finished his “Eight Sacred Songs” and the “Patriotic Overture” for an orchestra. In March of 1915 the family moves to Jena from where he travels every other week to Leipzig to teach his class and meet friends. He wrote pieces dedicated to his colleague and violinist Henri Marteau. He completed his “Sonata No.9 for Violin and Piano,” declaring that this was his greatest piece and his first in his “Jena Style.” On May 10, 1916 he taught his class at the conservatory and then had dinner with his publisher, Henri Hinrichsen. During the night, he suffered a heart attack in his hotel and died. When his wife moved from Jena to Munich in 1930, she had his urn buried at the Waldfriedhof. He may have a more recognized composer if he had composed symphonies, operas, or other large-scale choral works.

Bio by: Lutetia

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Rudi Polt
  • Added: 4 Feb 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7147604
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Max Reger (19 Mar 1873–11 May 1916), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7147604, citing Waldfriedhof München, Grosshadern, Stadtkreis München, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .