Born on July 7, 1860, Gustav Mahler was the second child in a brood of 14. His parents were Bernhard and Marie.
Kaliste (Kalischt), Bohemia (Czech Republic)
May 18, 1911 in Vienna due to bacterial endocarditis
Also Known As:
Composer known for his powerful and emotional music, most of which was influenced by his life's tragedies. He was also a well-respected conductor who led several prominent symphony orchestras. In 1897, he became artistic director of the Vienna Court Opera. He also became principal conductor of the New York City's Metropolitan Opera and later in 1909, became conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Mahler was a perfectionist which may be the reason why many of his compositions took several years to finish. He was married to Alma Schindler on March 9, 1902 and they had two daughters; Anna, who became a sculptress and Maria Anna who died at age 4.
Type of Compositions:
Mahler is known for his songs, cantatas and symphonies which he wrote in several keys. Some of his works require a huge orchestra like the "Eighth Symphony in E flat" also called the Symphony of A Thousand.
As a child Mahler and his family moved to Iglau, Moravia where they lived near the town square. Concerts were frequently held in the town square which gave Mahler initial exposure to music. He also studied under several musicians in the area and was playing the piano by age 6. He was accepted into the Vienna Conservatory when he was 15, where he studied piano under Julius Epstein. Mahler later on studied composition.
His works include: "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen," "Das Lied von der Erde" (The Song of the Earth), "Eighth Symphony in E flat" (Symphony of A Thousand) and "Kindertotenlieder" (Songs on the Death of Children). Mahler wrote nine symphonies, the tenth was left unfinished.
April 1897 marked Mahler's imperial appointment to the Royal Court Opera, in Vienna. He was promoted from Kapellmeister to Artistic Director of the Royal Court Opera in October 1897. He began to conduct the Metropolitan Opera on January 1, 1908 and became Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1909. Mahler's music is very much influenced by tragic incidents in his life.
Listen to Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 8" (Symphony of A Thousand, 1st Movement) from YouTube.