What could a late–19th-century Viennese symphonic genius and an early–21st-century African American pop star have in common? A blood line, according to recent research that has led to the conclusion that Beyoncé Knowles is Gustav Mahler’s eighth cousin, four times removed.
This according to Why Mahler? How one man and ten symphonies changed our world by Norman Lebrecht (New York: Pantheon, 2010; RILM Abstracts 2010-7889). Below, Beyoncé’s Green light—a title that suggests a line of descent from Mahler’s Urlicht.