2 February 1826|
Hamburg, German Confederation
13 October 1910 (aged 84)|
Wiesbaden, German Empire
|Spouse(s)||Wilhelm Langhans (1858 – 1874)|
Life and work
Louise Japha grew up in Hamburg, where she learned to play the piano from Fritz Warendorf and composition from Georg August Groß and Friedrich Wilhelm Grund. Her first concert was on 10 February 1838 in the local Apollo Hall. To practice the piano she went to the piano factory of Baumgarten und Heins, where she met the young Johannes Brahms. They practised and played together and discussed his first compositions. A long-lasting friendly relationship developed between Louise Japha and Brahms, who was seven years younger than her. Brahms dedicated one of his earliest works (Op. 6, six songs) to Louise and her sister Minna to express his gratitude.
In 1858, Louise Japha married the composer and music writer Wilhelm Langhans; they performed together. In particular, she was a celebrated pianist in Paris from 1863 to 1869. In 1868, she performed at the premiere of Brahms' Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34. Franz Liszt dedicated his Beethoven Cantata No. 1 (Celebratory cantata for the unveiling of the Beethoven monument in Bonn, 1845) to her. She worked in association with Stephen Heller, François-Auguste Gevaert, Camille Saint-Saëns, César Franck, and Gioachino Rossini. In 1874, her marriage with Wilhelm Langhans ended in divorce. She settled in Wiesbaden that year.
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