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Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler (Composer)

Born: 7th July 1860, Kaliste, Czechia

Died: 18th May 1911, Vienna, Austria

Nationality: German, Czech

Gustav Mahler was an Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th-century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect, which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, a position he has sustained into the 21st century. In 2016, a BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 conductors ranked three of his symphonies in the top ten symphonies of all time.

Born in Bohemia (then part of the Austrian Empire) to Jewish parents of humble origins, the German-speaking Mahler displayed his musical gifts at an early age.

Further Reading: Mahler

 Recording of the Week, Igor Levit's Tristan

Hans Werner Henze's brilliant, baffling set of ‘Preludes for piano, electronic tapes and orchestra’ sits at the heart of this Wagner-inspired recital, which also includes music by Liszt and Mahler via Ronald Stevenson.

 Interview, Semyon Bychkov on Mahler

In advance of the first instalment of his Mahler cycle with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on Pentatone, the conductor reflects on 'a lifetime of exploring and loving this music' - and why he believes that 'all Czech people are born musicians'...

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