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This Day in History - May 18

Composer Gustav Mahler died.
Feature | May 18, 2017 | By Jonathan Shipley


On this day, in 1911, composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) died in Vienna. The Austrian was one of the leading conductors of his generation. A late-Romantic composer, he bridged the traditions of the 19th century with the modernism of the 20th. Though famous as a conductor during his lifetime, his music didn't gain popularity until the 1940s. He's now considered one of the most important composers of all-time and is one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all the composers. The Seattle Symphony is performing Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in June and Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony in September

It was late 1910 that a sore throat came upon him as he worked on his Tenth Symphony. The sore throat persisted. He got sicker. On February 21, 1911, with a temperature of 104, he conducted at Carnegie Hall. It was his final concert. He was confined to a bed soon after and was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis. by May he was taken to a sanatorium in Vienna. It was there he died. He is buried in the Grinzing cemetery. Gustav Klimt attended his funeral. 

Some facts about Gustav Mahler:

He composed early in the morning so, by afternoon, he could go alpine hiking.

Mahler received therapy from Sigmund Freud. 

Mahler's music has been featured in over 100 movie soundtracks. 

His Symphony No. 1:

His Symphony No. 10 (left unfinished at his death):

His Symphony No. 7 conducted by Leonard Bernstein who championed Mahler's work and loved his music so much he was buried with Mahler's Symphony No. 5.