Gustav Mahler cultivated a keen awareness of humanity’s place in the universe. Driven his whole life to answer the question of life’s meaning in his compositions, his works drew increasingly on the belief that we as a species are subordinate to the mysteries of the cosmos, that – try as we might – we will never comprehend the vastness that surrounds us. In his late masterpiece, The Song of the Earth, he contemplates the many facets of life – its beauty and hardship – and maps out an inner journey, from a fear of death to a deep acceptance of our mortality, recognizing in its valedictory closing movement that to live is to participate in the never-ending unfolding of existence, that in being, we, too, are a part of eternity.
Thus, Mahler believed nature held the key to the profundity of life, that we are but a humble part of a greater world around us that holds deeper truths than that which resides in reason. As he once summed it up: “One will be able to give me the title: ‘Singer of Nature,’ an artist tapping into sacred life for inspiration and insight. The Song of the Earth seeks to further Mahler’s vision in today’s world by promoting an awareness of the environment and our active role in the delicate balance of nature. Further, we believe that our future – like that in The Song of the Earth – blossoms ever anew in the springtime of life and in the embrace of youth as the creators of a better tomorrow.
Tree planting initiatives to raise environmental awareness around the world, especially involving young people.
Based on an idea by Franz Werfel which he called the Academy of Poets and Thinkers, Meeting of Minds will be established by Mahler Foundation to provide an intimate three-day sanctuary for minds of different walks of society. It will be a platform for a concentrated exchange of opinions in the form of carefully selected topics of our day, with ample time for personal discussions, time alone, and enjoying the natural setting.