Skip to content

Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (1873-1916) was a German composer, pianist, organist, conductor, and academic teacher. He worked as a concert pianist, as a musical director at the Leipzig University Church, as a professor at the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig, and as a music director at the court of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen. 

Born in Brand, Bavaria, Reger was the first child of Josef Reger, a school teacher and amateur musician, and his wife Katharina Philomena. The devout Catholic family moved to Weiden in 1874. Max had only one sister, Emma, after three other siblings died in childhood. When he turned five, Reger learned organ, violin and cello from his father and piano from his mother. From 1884 to 1889, Reger took piano and organ lessons from Adalbert Lindner, one of his father’s students. During this time, he frequently acted as substitute organist for Lindner in the parish church of the city.  In 1886, Reger entered into the Royal Preparatory School according to his parents’ wishes to prepare for a teaching profession.