July’s composer of the month is Gustav Mahler.
Born: July 7, 1860
Died: May 18, 1911
• Mahler once had a therapy session with famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, whose diagnosis for Mahler was 'mother-fixation'.
• When the composer was six years old, he discovered a piano in his grandmother's attic. Only four years later, he gave a public performance.
• Mahler's Eighth Symphony was given the nickname "Symphony of a Thousand" because the premiere featured an ensemble of over 150 orchestral musicians and more than 800 choral singers. Mahler hated this nickname.
• Mahler took "The Curse of the Ninth Symphony" (a superstition among composers in which they believe after writing nine symphonies, they will die) quite seriously. He called his ninth symphony "Das Lied von der Erde," and titled his next symphony the 'ninth'. He died in the midst of writing his tenth symphony.
• Mahler conducted his final concert at Carnegie Hall in February of 1911. Following that concert, he fell severely ill and traveled back to Vienna, where he died three months later.
Three important works:
• Symphony No. 1 (1896)
• Symphony No. 8 (1907)
• Das Lied von der Erde (1909)
Audio Backpack playlist: Gustav Mahler