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Composer & Conductor Gustav Mahler Died in 1911

The late-Romantic composer is remembered as one of the most frequently performed and recorded composers of all time


On this day 112 years ago, Bohemian-born Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler died at the age of 50.

He wrote 10 symphonies that drew together many threads of late Romanticism, morphing from the programmatic or extramusical themes in his early symphonies to larger ideas — death, despair, and discovering the meaning in life — in his later works. The symphonies are known for their length as well, with the shortest symphony, Symphony No. 4, just under an hour long.

To those that are more superstitious, Mahler's passing also perpetuated the "curse of the ninth"  — the belief that composers would pass away after finishing their ninth symphonies or while they were composing their tenth — much like Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

As a conductor, he served as the artistic director of the Vienna Opera, where he introduced 32 new works, including Puccini's La Boheme and Madam Butterfly. He also frequently conducted the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

His compositional output is also known for his collections of songs, the four most known being Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Youth’s Magic Horn), Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen (Songs Of A Wayfarer), Kindertotenlieder (Songs On The Death Of Children) and the five Rückert Lieder.



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