August 31, 1879, Alma Schindler was the daughter of Emil Jakob Schindler, a known landscape painter and Anna von Bergen, an operetta singer. Alma's father died when she was only 13, her mother was married a second time to a painter named Carl Moll.
December 11, 1964 in New York, USA
Also Known As:
Austrian composer and author. The wife of composer Gustav Mahler, they were married on March 9, 1902. While she was married to Mahler she abandoned her desire to be a composer and became a housewife. They had 2 daughters, Anna, who became a sculptress and Maria Anna who died at age 4. They stayed together for 9 years until Mahler's death in 1911.
Four years later Alma married the architect Walter Gropius. They had a daughter, Manon, who developed polio and died in 1935. In 1929 Alma's third marriage was to Franz Werfel, a writer. They had a son, Martin Carl Johannes, who was born prematurely and died in 1919. Alma and Franz travelled to the US in 1940. Franz would die on August 28, 1945 and at his funeral Igor Strawinsky and Arnold Schoenberg were present.
Type of Compositions:
She wrote songs (lieders) often based on poems written by such poets as Heine and Rilke. She is also said to have composed instrumental pieces. Only 14 of her songs were ever published with 3 more songs discovered after her death.
Alma played the piano as a child and started composing at age 9. Her earliest composition teacher was Josef Labor and later Alexander Zemlinsky with whom she was also romantically involved.
Benjamin Britten's "Nocturne for tenor and small orchestra" was dedicated to Alma. She wrote an autobiography titled "And the Bridge is Love” which was published in 1960. Alma was very beautiful and quite intelligent. She was romantically involved with a string of men even while she was married. Among her lovers were Gustav Klimt (a painter), Alexander Zemlinsky (a composer), Oskar Kokoschka (a painter) and Johannes Hollnsteiner (a Theology professor).
Other Interesting Facts:
Aside from these men there were still others who proposed marriage to her but which she turned down. In 1910, after Mahler discovered Alma was having an affair with Walter Gropius, he sought the help of Sigmund Freud. It has been said that after a four-hour session Freud's findings helped the couple understand their secret longings. Afterwards Mahler endeavored to have five of Alma's songs published