Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) is regarded as a genius of the fin de siècle, a composer whose work is celebrated both as the culmination of the romantic symphony and a precursor “Neue Musik”. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth, the Austrian Theatre Museum is showing an exhibition that focuses on the wealth of connections that linked the celebrated composer and director of the imperial opera house with Vienna.
The exhibition ranges from the education and training of the fifteen-year-old prodigy to the revolutionary reform of opera he organised together with the stage-designer, Alfred Roller, to the international successes of the celebrated conductor to the final return of a terminally-ill man – a broad survey of the life and work of this paradigmatic artistic personality; shaped by the terrible tensions inherent in the “Wiener Moderne”, his influence continued to be felt in the world of music long after his death.
Reinhold Kubik and Thomas Trabitsch are the curators of the exhibition; installation and design are by Blaich + Deluga. It is organised in collaboration with, among others, the International Gustav Mahler Society, the Arnold Schönberg Centre, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, the Austrian National Library, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Important additional loans come from the Morgan Library and Museum New York, the Magyar Nemzetí Múzeum in Budapest, the Médiatèque Musicale Mahler in Paris, and the Richard-Wagner-Museum in Bayreuth.