Max Reger in Leipzig 2016
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre
In addition to being music director at the University of Leipzig, in 1907 Reger was also appointed professor at the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig, where he worked until the end of his days. His name joins the list of illustrious faculty members at this institution – since renamed Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre – ranging from Mendelssohn himself to eminent present-day musicians such as Carolin Widmann, Peter Bruns and Tatjana Masurenko.
St Thomas’s School, St Thomas’s Church, St Thomas’s Boys Choir
Max Reger and Karl Straube became acquainted as early as 1898. Born in the same year, their lifelong friendship began when Straube premiered Max Reger’s Suite for Organ. Destined to become the organist and cantor of St Thomas’s Church, he continuously championed Reger’s compositions. Indeed, he gave the first public performance of many pieces written by Reger – and not only for the organ. Nowadays, this tradition is maintained by St Thomas’s Boys Choir. Yet there is another reason why St Thomas’s Church plays such an important role in Max Reger’s heritage – for its Wilhelm Sauer organ is inextricably associated with Reger’s music.
The Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Gewandhaus Orchestra
Similarly, the Gewandhaus Orchestra has always performed Reger’s orchestral works regularly. Two of his key compositions were played for the very first time at the Gewandhaus: the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A major in 1908 and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in F minor in 1910.
Music at the University of Leipzig
In architectural terms alone, the University of Leipzig’s history since Reger’s day has been as eventful as it has been significant. And this history has certainly left its mark on the university’s musical activities, which were presided over by Reger as the University of Leipzig’s music director in 1907/08. In fact the university has a long, impressive tradition of music in which Max Reger is an important fixture.