Thomas Hampson introduce the film streaming premiere of Thomas Hampson: In Search of Gustav Mahler, an hour of narration and song performance looking at Mahler’s life and personality through his lieder.



Last photo of Gustav Mahler
30-07-2020 News from our friends at the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler (MMM) . The last known photograph of Gustav Mahler ( Year 1911 ) In our recent newsletter, we communicated our wish to present...
Mahler Hour Monthly
Due to the enormous success of the first two 'Mahler Hours', Mahler Foundation has decided to organize a monthly Mahler Hour from now on. The monthly Mahler Hour is on the first Tuesday of each...
Embrace Everything
The Embrace Everything series is an exploration and celebration of the music of Gustav Mahler. Each season explores a different Mahler symphony and includes interviews with leading conductors, music...
Second Mahler Hour
Mahler turns 160! Second Mahler Hour by Mahler Foundation . Featuring: Marina Mahler, Aaron Cohen, Eveline Nikkels, Joost Honselaar, Thomas Hampson, Francisco Bricio and others. Host: Morten Solvik....
Alma Mahler and Allert de...
A new edition will be released on June 12, 2020: Briefwechsel Alma Mahler - Allert de Lange Verlag , a publication of the Gustav Mahler Stichting Nederland, delivered by Matthijs Boumans and Eveline...
Updates website
Link: List of new information added to the Mahler Foundation website . Sorting: Last update first.
Mahler Festival 2021...
For the third time in its history the Concertgebouw is organising a major tribute to Gustav Mahler. In 1920 the first ‘Mahler Fest’ took place in Amsterdam, for the occasion of Willem Mengelberg’s...
First Mahler Hour
Mahler Around the World This event brings together people from all over the world with a purpose to pay tribute to the g reat composer Gustav Mahler, on his 109th death anniversary. The live...
Mahler Festival 2020 online
Ten new Mahler documentaries Mahler Foundation and Het Concertgebouw have commissioned ten new documentaries on the occasion of the Mahler Festival 2020 in Amsterdam (from 8 to 17 May 2020). These...
Earth Day 2020
Join Mahler Foundation for The Song Of The Earth on Earth Day! Three Inspiring Films for Earth Day 2020 Gustav Mahler once said: "I want to be remembered as the 'Singer of Nature,'", and no work...
Resurrection Symphony
In August 1892 a cholera epidemic struck Hamburg as Mahler was on his way there to conduct another season at the Stadttheater. Faced with possibly drastic consequences and defying orders that he...
Mahler World Map
World map with all the locations visited by Gustav Mahler. The map also contains other Gustav Mahler related locations such as the Mahler Societies and the Mahler Foundation. Link to the Gustav...
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Cartoons and caricatures published during the life of Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). Collected from worldwide publications.

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Images of Gustav Mahler made by his daughter Anna and by Auguste Rodin. With a complete list of the original Rodin casts.

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Paining by Gallen-Kallela "Lit up only by fire, quite a la Rembrandt .... a strong likeness. You would be astonished!' - Gustav Mahler (1907).

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Photo albums

The private family photo album of Gustav and Alma Mahler. Alma Schindler's photo album after Gustav Mahler. Photos from various Mahler Festivals.

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  • Symphony No. 1

    Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 1. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor Daniel Harding. Fragment.
  • Symphony No. 2

    Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 2 (brass chorale). Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor Daniele Gatti. Fragment.
  • In 1879, Augustus Henry Glossop Harris (1852-1896), later Sir Augustus Harris, one of the greatest impresarios of his age, became manager of the Drury Lane Theatre. In 1882, he managed a season of German Opera performances, put on by the concert promoter Hermann Franke and Bernhard Pollini (1838-1897), the Intendant of the Hamburg Stadttheater. The season was conducted by the great maestro, Hans Richter (1843-1916).

    Early in 1888, Harris announced a season of Italian Opera, to be put on at the Covent Garden Theatre. From then on, Harris would lead a golden age of opera performance at Covent Garden, and continue to influence it until long after his death in 1896. At that time opera in London meant Italian Opera, that is opera sung in Italian, irrespective of its original language. Harris began the move to original language performances, first French, and then later German. This in turn led the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden as it was then known to be renamed the Royal Opera House, the name it retains to the present day.

    In 1892, Harris decided to stage a short season of German Opera, in German, at Covent Garden during June and July. For this purpose, he approached his contact from ten years previously, Bernhard Pollini, and in effect hired a substantial part of the Hamburg Opera, excluding the orchestra, but including the sets, the costumes and their conductor, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), who had been appointed the previous year. Guest singers from the Berlin Opera were also hired. The announcement of the season that appeared in the Daily Telegraph, promised a Wagner Ring cycle with one performance on each of four consecutive Wednesdays, plus performances of Tristan und Isolde and Fidelio.

    1892. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911).

    Putting on a season of opera in the late 19th Century was a very different proposition from doing so today. The costs had to be met entirely by the theatre management or the impresario personally. It was therefore common practice to offer the season to the public as a subscription, thereby selling as many seats as possible in advance of outgoings to pay singers, musicians and other staff. Even so, just to break even required a very high percentage of seats to be occupied every night of the season. For this German Opera season, Harris offered a season subscription priced between 40 guineas (£42) for the best seats, to £4 18 shillings (£4.90) for the balcony stalls.

    For the two months before his visit, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) started to learn English from his friend Arnold Berliner (1862-1942). He noted down in a pocket book the words and phrases that he assumed would be useful in the theatre. He found the language difficult and never became proficient in it. While in London however, he insisted on trying to speak English, even though he sometimes struggled to remember words, which resulted in long pauses and some amusement. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) set sail from Cruxhaven on Thursday, 26-05-1892, bound for Southampton.

    The orchestra that Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was to conduct was neither his own Hamburg Opera orchestra nor the usual Covent Garden orchestra. It had been assembled especially for the season from English players, with additional specialist players brought in from Germany. As such, the orchestra was in poor shape as an ensemble, and even some of the singers were not familiar with Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)'s autocratic style. Mahler was aided by his assistant conductor, Leo Feld.

    The first performance at Covent Garden Theater on 08-06-1892 was Siegfried. This opera was given first to allow the tenor Max Achenbach Alvary (1856-1898) to make his London début in the title role, one of his best. Harris had an immediate success on his hands. Public demand for seats was so great that he immediately arranged for a second season to run in parallel as it were, at the Drury Lane Theatre. Siegfried and the Ring cycle would be repeated on the Mondays, following their performances at Covent Garden on the previous Wednesdays, as well as additional performances of Tristan and Fidelio. He also arranged for the English première of Viktor Nessler's Der Trompeter von Säckingen (or Säkkingen). This was a work Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) detested, having been obliged to conduct it during his time at both Leipzig and Prague. In London, the performances were conducted by his assistant, Leo Feld.

    Public and critics alike were full of enthusiasm for these performances. In reading the critics' reports in the newspapers and magazines however, it is sometimes necessary to bear in mind the personal prejudices of the reviewers concerned - for example, many were anti-Wagnerian.

    There was at least one amusing anecdote regarding the season. This was the first year in which electric lighting had been installed at Covent Garden, and contrary to the previous seasons when gas lighting was in use, the lights were dimmed during the acts of the opera. This annoyed the London society ladies who regarded the whole evening as merely an opportunity to see and be seen, which the dimmed lights prevented. It also annoyed those people who could no longer read their libretto books.

    Mahler used German solo singers. Stage sets were transported from Hamburg and the orchestra recruited from English musicians. Members’ from the resident Covent Garden Orchestra were not used- more on this later. Mahler had given the first complete performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, (an incomplete performance had been given ten years earlier at the Haymarket Theatre). 

    Two additional performances of Nessler's - Der Trompeter von Sackingen were, as usual, conducted by Leo Feld, the 2nd Kapellmeister in Hamburg. 1892 Opera London 08-07-1892 and 1892 Opera London 14-07-1892

    Locations in London

    Conducted by Gustav Mahler

    1. 1892 Opera London 08-06-1892Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Siegfried.
    2. 1892 Opera London 13-06-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Siegfried.
    3. 1892 Opera London 15-06-1892Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Tristan.
    4. 1892 Opera London 18-06-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Tristan.
    5. 1892 Opera London 22-06-1892Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Rheingold.
    6. 1892 Opera London 25-06-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Tristan.
    7. 1892 Opera London 27-06-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Rheingold.
    8. 1892 Concert London 29-06-1892St. James's Hall, Wagner program.
    9. 1892 Opera London 02-07-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Fidelio.
    10. 1892 Opera London 04-07-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Walkure.
    11. 1892 Opera London 06-07-1892Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Siegfried.
    12. 1892 Opera London 09-07-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Tristan.
    13. 1892 Opera London 11-07-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Siegfried.
    14. 1892 Opera London 13-07-1892Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Gotterdammerung.
    15. 1892 Opera London 16-07-1892Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Tannhauser.
    16. 1892 Opera London 18-07-1892Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Gotterdammerung.
    17. 1892 Opera London 20-07-1892Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Fidelio.

    Conducted by Leo Feld

    Gustav Mahler left London on the 23-07-1892 bound for Berchtesgaden, Austria to meet up with friends and family in a villa beside Salzburg. Mahler never returned to London despite a letter that indicates that a return visit was under consideration. Mahler’s performances drew very positive responses from critics and other artists’ and Mahler too was pleased with the acclaim. George Bernard Shaw reported, ‘The gallery applauded wildly at the end of each act’ and Paul Dukas noted, ‘a conductor of genius’. Mahler said, ‘I had to take a curtain call after each act, and the entire hall shouted Mahler until I reappeared’.

    The cost of performances was financed by advanced ticket sales, but, despite the financial success of the venture, Harris failed to attract his celebrated conductor for a return visit. Successful though the season had been commercially for Harris and critically with the public, Mahler had found it physically draining and artistically unfulfilling.

    In 1894, Harris attempted another German season in London, but Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) asked for a fee of 1,000 marks a week, plus expenses. Harris declined, as Mahler knew he would. His summer months were much too precious to him, as these were the only times he could dedicate to composing.