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More Than Music: The Mahlers and musical directors

Fans of Gustav Mahler know him as a great composer and great personality. He was also a formidable conductor. Between 1908 and 1911, he conducted New York’s Metropolitan Opera, then the New York Symphony and New York Philharmonic.

He was also controversial for reasons tied to a debate that’s going on right now in the classical music world; that’s the role of the music director. How is it being redefined and by whom? What is a conductor for? In what ways are they appreciated as genuine cultural leaders?

If Mahler proved a controversial cultural asset, his marriage was always controversial. Alma Mahler was a glamourous Viennese woman 20 years his junior.

She had a string of famous romantic partnerships. All of this is the subject matter of a recent novel by Joseph Horowitz.

Listeners to 1A know Joe for the More than Music features he regularly hosts. His book is called “The Marriage: The Mahlers in New York.”

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Rupert Allman
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