Brahms’ relationships with women were troubled at best. While he more or less worshipped Clara Schumann, his attitude to others he encountered was often less than enlightened. “I have a powerful prejudice against women pianists and anxiously avoid listening to them,” he wrote in a letter to Ferdinand Hiller.

Brahms Johannes Brahms

English composer Ethel Smyth observed this at first hand. “To see him with Lili Wach, Frau Schumann and her daughters, or other...

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