Composer Gustav Mahler was born on July 7, 1860, in Kaliště, Czech Republic. For many years he was a respected conductor at several capitals in Europe. He also demonstrated to be a tough taskmaster in shaping up lax orchestras who had come to play with poor rhythm, and incorrect intonation.
During his entire life, Mahler experienced discrimination because he happened to be born into a Jewish home. Yet ultimately he overcame this bias when he was named General Music Director of the Vienna Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mahler also forged a friendship with Richard Strauss, and each of them performed premiers of the other’s compositions.
Mahler composed nine completed symphonies, as well as many songs with orchestral accompaniment. I have selected the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony number 5 as my way of paying tribute to this great man: