Dimitri Mitropoulos
Learning to love Gustav Mahler
Learning to love Gustav Mahler

One evening in 1966, not long after the Los Angeles Philharmonic moved into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, concertgoers were surprised to find a picket line in front of the hall on opening night. Though picket lines were a dime a dozen in the '60s, this one was unusual, for these young music lovers were protesting the shortage of works by Gustav Mahler on the philharmonic's agenda. The protest received radio coverage, and it had the effect of launching the local Gustav Mahler Society. Can you imagine such a scene today? The composer who ruefully called himself "thrice homeless" -- a Bohemian among Austrians, an Austrian among Germans, and a Jew throughout the world -- is...