HumanitiesWeb HumanitiesWeb
WelcomeHistoryLiteratureArtMusicPhilosophyResourcesHelp
Sort By Author Sort By Title
pixel
HumanitiesWeb.org - Gustav Mahler - Biography

Resources
Sort By Author
Sort By Title

Search

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

& etc
FEEDBACK

(C)1998-2013
All Rights Reserved.

Site last updated
26 June, 2013
Gustav Mahler - Biography
Gustav Mahler was once quoted as saying, "The symphony must be like a world: it should contain everything." In his symphonies and song cycles, he created universes, encompassing every kind of human experience, from childlike innocence and wonder to anguish and despair. To achieve this, he wrote music for a huge orchestra, sometimes with voices added as well. He pushed musical form or construction to new limits and used exciting new harmonies. Listening to Mahler's music can be a truly overwhelming and rewarding experience.

Born on 7 July, 1860 in Kaliste, Bohemia (the Czech Republic), Mahler was the son of a shopkeeper. At the age of 15 he entered Vienna Conservatory, but also studied philosophy at Vienna University.

Mahler's life and career spanned the end of one era and the beginning of another. The degree of personal expression and descriptive content of many of his works represents the last word, or note, of the 19th century Romantic world of Liszt, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky. But as Mahler developed his style, his harmonies and the sounds he drew from the orchestra paved the way for such 20th century masters as Schoenberg and Webern.

Mahler was also a great conductor, and here too he was a pivotal figure. He outshone all other conductors before him, as well as those of his own time, in his fierce dedication to his work. He spared neither himself nor anybody else in his desire to raise the standards of performance to new heights. He was the first all-powerful maestro and the model for many other famous conductors of the 20th century.

Gustav Mahler died on 18 May, 1911 in Vienna.

Contributed by Gifford, Katya

Personae

Terms Defined

Referenced Works