7 July 1860 - 18 May 1911 (age 50)

Gustav Mahler, the Bohemian-Austrian composer, was better known as one of the world's leading conductors during his lifetime. His music began to be appreciated long after his death.




His wife Alma


portrait of Mahler


Born: 7 July 1860 Kaliště, Bohemia (then in Austria, now in the Czech Republic)
Father: Bernard. Businessman, innkeeper.
Mother: Marie 
Siblings: 2nd of fourteen children, 7 died in infancy and one at age 12. 
Partners: In 1901 he married Alma Schindler
Children: two daughters, Anna and Maria (died age 4)
Died: 18 May 1911
Cause of death: heart disease ( infective myocarditis)
Grave: Grinzinger Friedhof, Vienna (more info at findagrave )


- 9 symphonies (+ 1 unfinished)
- many orchestral song cycles

Composing was an activity which took second place to his successful conducting career. Most of his compositions were done during the summer breaks in quiet places next to nature. One of his favourite places for composing was a little cabin on the shore of Lake Atter in Upper Austria.

Symphony No.8 2nd Movement Part 6 
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain Conducted by Sir Simon Rattle


- “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.”

- "I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed."

- ""I don't choose what I compose. It chooses me."

- "What is best in music is not to be found in the notes."

- "My time will come when his is over." ( from a letter to his wife Alma, relating to Richard Strauss.)

- "I also had a brother who was like me a musician and a composer. A man of great talent, far more gifted than I. He died very young... he killed himself in the prime of his life."

Films about Mahler

Ken Russel's 'MAHLER'


'Mahler 9' aka 'Four Ways to Say Farewell'
Tony Palmers film of Leonard Bernstein discussing and conducting the 9th


Listen to the Mahler channel while you work/surf/study/read/dream.....

Mahler in Art

Alma - his wife

"The most beautiful girl in Vienna"
"The last femme fatale of the 20th century"

Wow! What an extraordinary woman!
Here is an internet illustrated biography
- Gustav Klimt, artist
- Oskar Kokoschka, artist
- and others
- Gustav Mahler, composer, died 1911
- Walter Gropius, architect, founder of the Bauhaus, divorced
- Franz Werfel, writer, died

Alma was a talented musician and composer but Mahler made her give up composing.

There is a movie based on her: 'Bride of the Wind' starring Jonathan Pryce as Mahler and Sarah Wynter as Alma. You can get the DVD at amazon.com Here is the trailer:

Symphony No.5, "Adagietto".
World Orchestra for Peace - Valery Gergiev
featured in the film 'Death in Venice'

6th Symphony 
with Gustavo Dudamel and Gothenburg Symphony


Answers.com consolidated results of various sites including Wikipedia 
About.com Mahler page 
Brainjuice a good article 
International Gustav Mahler Society of Vienna
Findagrave photos of his grave plus a good article. Add your tribute.

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