Heinrich Porges was born in Prague, the son of Simon Porges (1801–1869) and his wife Charlotte. He originally studied Philosophy and Law in Prague, later turning to music. In 1863 he became an assistant of the critic Franz Brendel in editing the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in Leipzig.
Porges became a devotee and intimate of Richard Wagner, and his extensive notes on Wagner's rehearsal and staging were published in the journal Bayreuther Blätter over the period 1880-1896. His study of Tristan und Isolde was published after his death in 1906 by Hans von Wolzogen. He received a life pension from King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
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