Max Graf

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Max Graf
Max Graf

Max Graf (1 October 1873 – 24 June 1958) was an Austrian music historian and critic.

He was born in Vienna, the son of Josef and Regine (Lederer) Graf.[1][2] His father was a political writer and editor.[3]

Max was described as the "dean of music critics in Vienna" in the first part of the 20th century.[4]


He is also notable for his role in the history of psychoanalysis as the father of Little Hans, whose treatment was described by Sigmund Freud.[5] Max's first wife and Little Hans' mother, Olga Hönig, was one of Freud's patients.[6]

Graf's book Composer and Critic is noted for its amicable style with M. A. Schubart of the New York Times stating, "Dr. Graf has written a charming, comprehensive, intelligent treatise on music criticism, drawing generously on his own large supply of knowledge and experience.... The only major issue which I cannot reach agreement with Dr. Graf is his manner. He is much too polite. No subject in the world deserves more rudeness than music criticism." Countering this impression, Graf published a deeply critical review of a Metropolitan Opera production produced by his son in 1946.[7]

In the introduction to Composer and Critic, Graf details his original interest in music criticism as having stemmed from attending the lectures of Anton Bruckner in Vienna.

Max was Jewish and fled Vienna for the United States in 1938, where he taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City until 1947, when he returned to Vienna. He died there in 1958.[8]


  • Wagner-Probleme, und andere Studien, 1900
  • Die Musik im Zeitalter der Renaissance, 1905
  • Die innere Werkstatt des Musikers, 1910
  • Richard Wagner im "Fliegenden Holländer": ein Beitrag zur Psychologie künstlerischen Schaffens, 1911
  • Legend of a musical city, 1945
  • Composer and critic: Two hundred years of musical criticism, 1946
  • Modern music: Composers and music of our time, 1946
  • From Beethoven to Shostakovich: The psychology of the composing process, 1947
  • Geschichte und Geist der modernen Musik, 1953
  • Die Wiener Oper, 1955

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Max Graf
  2. ^ Craig Partridge (2016). Juda Löbl Popper of Ostravec-Lhotka, Bohemia & His Family. Lulu Press.
  3. ^ Index to the Periodical Literature of the World, Vol. 2. 1891.
  4. ^ "Dr. Max Graf, 84, Critic in Vienna". New York Times. 25 June 1958.
  5. ^ Eugene Halpert (2008). "The Grafs: Father (Max) and Son (Herbert a.k.a. Little Hans)". In Robert A. King (ed.). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Peter B. Neubauer; Samuel Abrams; A. Scott Dowling. Yale University Press. pp. 115–122. ISBN 978-0-300-12540-5. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Sigmund Freud Papers: Interviews and Recollections, 1914–1998; Set A, 1914–1998; Interviews and; Graf, Max, 1952".
  7. ^ "Dr. Max Graf, 84, Critic in Vienna". New York Times. 25 June 1958.
  8. ^ "Dr. Max Graf, 84, Critic in Vienna". New York Times. 25 June 1958.