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Shadow on Concrete Wall

Gustav Mahler
1860 - 1911 

Gustav Mahler, a famous conductor during his lifetime, has since been considered an important composer whose work bridges the gap between 19th century Romanticism and the modern compositions of the 20th century.


As a teenager he studied piano and composition in Vienna and made a name for himself as a conductor in his mid-twenties.


He held positions in Prague, Leipzig and Budapest before becoming chief conductor of the Hamburg Opera in 1891. He also conducted the Vienna State Opera (1897-1907) and the New York Philharmonic Society (1908-11) while composing songs.


Nine symphonies and his most famous work "Das Lied von der Erde" (1908, not referred to as a symphony by Mahler because of superstition - he admired Anton Bruckner and Ludwig Van Beethoven, who both died after they had written nine symphonies).


A generation after his death, compositions such as his "Kindertotenlieder" (1901-04) became known as standard works for the orchestra. Mahler was born a Jew but converted to the Roman Catholic Church.

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