Obituary: Mahler authority Henry-Louis de La Grange, 92

Posted on: February 13, 2017

“Henry-Louis de La Grange, who was so captivated by a Mahler symphony he heard at Carnegie Hall in 1945 that he devoted the rest of his life to researching the tempestuous Viennese composer’s biography, died on Jan. 27 in Lonay, Switzerland, near Lausanne,” writes Sam Roberts in Wednesday’s (2/8) New York Times. He “began earning his scholarly credentials in 1973 when, after 15 years of research, he published Volume I of his biography, simply titled ‘Gustav Mahler.’ It became a heroic 3,600-page saga, still being revised, that distinguished him as the dean of Mahler biographers.” La Grange, born in Paris on May 26, 1924, to “a French politician [Amaury de La Grange] … and an American heiress to a furniture-store fortune [née Emily Sloane], inherited the title of baron on his 21st birthday but dispensed with it. ‘I did not earn it,’ he said in 1989. ‘I was simply born to it.’ ” La Grange “graduated from the University of Provence in Aix-en-Provence and the Yale School of Music and studied piano in Paris under Nadia Boulanger and Yvonne Lefébure. Before embarking on his Mahler opus, he was a music critic for The Times and other publications in the early 1950s.”

Posted February 13, 2017