Gustav Mahler

Before my eyes, the Danube follows its eternal course and the gleam of the evening sun is caught by its waves.

Mahler was born in Kaliste, a town of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as the second of twelve children to Jewish parents. Raised in Moravia, he took piano lessons from the age of six. In 1875, 15-year-old Gustav started his education in piano, harmony and composition at the Vienna Conservatory. Three years later, he was admitted to the Vienna University, where along with music he studied history and philosophy. At that time, Mahler worked as a music teacher, and he also composed his first piece, the cantata 'Das klagende Lied'. In the 1880s, he started his career as a conductor for several orchestras, including the Vienna Opera and later the New York Metropolitan Opera. In the summer of 1901, Mahler moved to Carinthia, where he lived in a new villa on the lake in Maiernigg. A year later, he married Alma Schindler, and they had two daughters. As a composer, Mahler was known for writing long symphonies filled with dramatic tension, as well as collections of songs. His 'Eighth Symphony' and 'The Song of the Earth' brought him much renown. Ill and unable to finish his 'Tenth Symphony', he died at the age of 50. According to his wishes, Mahler was buried beside his daughter at the Grinzing Cemetery outside Vienna.