Gustav Mahler Biography and Professional Activity

Mahler entered the Vienne’s Conservatory. Mahler also entered Vienne’s University, studying philosophy and literature. At the Conservatory, he became friends with the future composer Hugo Wolf. Mahler graduated from the Conservatory but failed to achieve the prestigious silver medal The family of the Composer was very poor. His father Gustav Bernhard Mahler was a traveling salesman, who sold alcoholic beverages, sugar, and household products. His mother came from a family of a small manufacturer, producing soap. Gustav was the second of 14 children. Shortly after the birth of Gustav, his family moved to the small industrial town of Jihlava – an island of German culture in South Moravia, where Bernhard Mahler started a tavern. Here, the future composer felt passionately in love with folk dances and songs of the peoples of Austrian Empire: Austrian, German, Hebrew, Czech, Hungarian, Gypsy, Slovak, and so on. All those sounds later became the part of his musical palette. In 6 years, Gustav began his studies on the piano, and in 10, he gave his first public concert in Jihlava.
Despite the regular instruments, such as piano and violin, Mahler used to apply unusual instruments to create his symphonies. For instance, some of his compositions include tenor horn, guitar, mandolin and even cowbell. One can notice a lot of percussions is Mahler’s symphonies, which is quite a distinguishing feature comparing to other musicians of that time.
Gustav Mahler was one of the greatest symphonic composers.