Wagner, Roger (Francis)

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Wagner, Roger (Francis)

Wagner, Roger (Francis), French-born American choral conductor; b. Le Puy, Jan. 16, 1914; d. Dijon, Sept. 17,1992. He was taken to the U.S. as a child. After studying for the priesthood in Santa Barbara, Calif., he returned to France to study organ with Dupré. He settled in Los Angeles in 1937 and became organist and choirmaster at St. Joseph’s; he also took courses in philosophy and French literature at the Univ. of Calif, and the Univ. of Southern Calif. He studied conducting with Klemperer and Walter and orchestration with Caillet. In 1946 he founded the Roger Wagner Chorale and toured extensively with it in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. He was also founder-conductor of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia Orch. (1965-85). He was head of the dept. of music at Mary-mount Coll. in Los Angeles (1951-66); he also taught at the Univ. of Calif, from 1959 to 1981. He was knighted by Pope Paul VI in 1966.


W. Belan, ed., Choral Essays: A Tribute to R. W.(San Carlos, Calif., 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire