Gustav Mahler

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Gustav Mahler
1860-1911

Gutav Mahler, born July 7,1860, was a post romantic composer. He was born in eastern Bohemia, which was the Austrian Empire back then. Mahler and his family moved to Iglau, Germany when he was a little boy. He and his family lived near the town square; they frequently heard concerts, this gave Mahler an initial exposure to music.

At age 6 he was playing piano and studying under the influence of several musicians in the area. By 15, he was accepted into the Vienna Conservatory where he studied piano under Julius Epstein. Mahler later on studied composition.

Gustav Mahler played piano; however as a conductor and composer, he had to be familiar with all symphonic instruments. In fact, he invented several instruments to enhance his own compositions. He was a passionate composer and an extremely talented conductor.

Mahler composed 9 symphonies throughout his life. he died writing his 10th. His most famous symphony is Symphony no. 5, Adagietto, even though symphony no.1 is performed more. His music is considered "Organic", His songs flow naturally into symphonic movements. Mahler's symphonies are on an expansive scale, requiring large forces in performance, and are some of the longest in the concert repertoirè.

He married Alma Schindler, privately on March 9, 1902. Weeks later she fell pregnant with their first child, Marie Anna, who was born November 1902. Their second daughter, Anna, was born later in 1904.

Soon in early 1911, Mahler became ill with an unknown cause, which caused him to be bed ridden for a long time. Several weeks later, he was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis, a disease which suffers from defective heart valves. He died May 18, 1911 in Vienna. Mahler is buried in the Grinzen Cemetery.
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