Wagner-Régeny, Rudolf Romanian-born German composer, pedagogue, pianist, and clavichordist; b. Szász-Régen, Transylvania, Aug. 28, 1903; d. Berlin, Sept. 18, 1969. He entered the Leipzig Cons, as a piano pupil of Robert Teichmüller in 1919, and in 1920 enrolled at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik as a student in conducting of Rudolf Krasselt and Siegfried Ochs, in orchestration of Emil Reznicček, and in theory and composition of Friedrich Koch and Franz Schreker. He first gained notice as a composer with his theater pieces for Essen; in 1930 he became a naturalized German citizen, and with the rise of the Nazis was promoted by a faction of the party as a composer of the future; however, the success of his opera Der Günstling (Dresden, Feb. 20, 1935) was followed by his supporters’ doubts regarding his subsequent output, ending in a scandal with his opera Johanna Balkat the Vienna State Opera (April 4, 1941). In 1942 he was drafted into the German army; after the close of World War II, he settled in East Germany; was director of the Rostock Hochschule für Musik (1947-50); then was a prof, of composition at the (East) Berlin Hochschule für Musik and at the Academy of Arts. After composing works along traditional lines, he adopted his own 12-note serial technique in 1950.
dramatic: Opera: Sganarelle oder Der Schein trügt (1923; Essen, March 1929); Moschopulos (Gera, Dec. 1, 1928); Der nackte König (1928; Gera, Dec. 1, 1930); Der Günstling oder Die letzten Tage des grossen Herrn Fabiano (1932-34; Dresden, Feb. 20, 1935); Die Bürger von Calais (1936-38; Berlin, Jan. 28,1939); Johanna Balk (1938-40; Vienna, April 4,1941); Das Bergwerk zu Falun (1958-60; Salzburg, Aug. 16, 1961). Ballet: Moritat (1928; Essen, March 1929); Der zerbrochene Krug (Berlin, 1937). Other Dramatic: Esau und Jacob,biblical scene for 4 Soloists, Speaker, and String Orch. (1929; Gera, 1930); La Sainte Courtisanefor 4 Speakers and Chamber Orch. (Dessau, 1930); Die Fabel vom seligen Schlachtermeister (1931-32; Dresden, May 23, 1964); Persische Episode (1940-50; Rostock, March 27, 1963); Prometheus,scenic oratorio (1957-58; Kassel, Sept. 12, 1959); incidental music to 7 plays.
A. Burgartz, R. W.-R.(Berlin, 1935); T. Müller-Medek, ed., R. W.-R.: Begegnungen, biographische Aufzeichnungen, Tagebücher und sein Briefwechsel mit Caspar Neher (Berlin, 1968).
—Niolas Slonimky/Laura kuhn/Dennis McIntre