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Mahler as Conductor

Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911)

He was born in Bohemia but moved at the age of fifteen to Vienna. Ultimately recognized as one of the greatest opera conductors of his time, he was uncompromising in his adherence to the highest artistic standards, tireless in his attention to detail in both music and staging. He reached the peak of his conducting career as Music Director of the Vienna Court Opera where he abolished many unproductive traditions; and staged new productions whose innovative concepts of light and color, combined with painstaking attention to psychological implications in the music, made an unforgettably vivid impression.

Nevertheless, in spite of all his success as a conductor, Mahler hated "this hell of a theater." It left him little time to compose. Mahler wanted the ultimate - to create symphonies around themes of suffering, despair, death, resurrection, and mysteries of the cosmos and eternal love.