Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born to a Jewish family in the village of Kalischt in Bohemia, in what was then the Austrian Empire, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic. His family later moved to nearby Iglau, where Mahler grew up.
Mahler’s œuvre is relatively small; for much of his life composing was necessarily a part-time activity while he earned his living as a conductor. Aside from early works such as a movement from a piano quartet composed when he was a student in Vienna, Mahler’s works are designed for large orchestral forces, symphonic choruses and operatic soloists. Most of his twelve symphonic scores are very large-scale works, often employing vocal soloists and choruses in addition to augmented orchestral forces.
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