Violonists of the Gewandhaus Orchestra at a Great Concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus on Augustusplatz, music city, cultural venue, sightseeing
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Gustav Mahler

Mahler-Festival 2021 in Leipzig

The designated Gewandhaus conductor at a big Gewandhaus Orchestra concert at Leipzig's Gewandhaus in Augustusplatz in the city of music, cultural venue, sights
Gewandhaus conductor, Andris Nelsons © Jens Gerber

The Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig invites you to the Mahler-Festival 2021 from 13th to 24th May 2021. There you can expect Mahler symphonies and other orchestral works interpreted by 10 world-class orchestras over 12 days. Get ready for first-class concerts!

Mahler-Festival 2021

Concert Programme

13 May 2021 8 pm: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig (Andris Nelsons) - Symphony No. 2 in C minor

14 May 2021 8 pm: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig (Andris Nelsons) - Symphony No. 2 in C minor

15 May 2021 8 pm: Royal Concertgebouw Orkest (Fabio Luisi, Baritone Peter Mattei) - Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the death of children) Symphony in C-sharp minor

16 May 2021 11 am: London Symphony Orchestra (Sir Simon Rattle) - Symphony No. 6 in A minor

17 May 2021 8 pm: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Mariss Jansons, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks) - Symphony No. 3 in D minor

18 May 2021 8 pm: Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (N.N.) - (Completed by Deryck Cooke)

19 May 2021 8 pm: Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (Valery Gergiev) - das Lied von der Erde (the Song of the Earth) Symphony in G major

20 May 2021 8 pm: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Daniel Harding, Baritone Thomas Hamson) - Orchestra Symphony No. 1 in D major

21 May 2021 8 pm: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig (Andris Nelsons) - Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major (Symphony of a Thousand)

22 May 2021 8 pm: Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden (N.N.) - Symphony No. 7 in E minor

23 May 2021 8 pm: MDR Sinfonieorchester (N.N., MDR Rundfunkchor) - Das klagende Lied (Song of Lamentation) - Fairy tale cantata

23 May 2021 8 pm: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig (Andris Nelsons) - Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major (Symphony of a Thousand)

24 May 2021 8 pm: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig (Andris Nelsons) - Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major (Symphony of a Thousand)

 

The ticket pre-sale starts on 13 May 2019: www.mahlerfestival.de 

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler came to Leipzig in 1886 after spending one year at the German Theatre in Prague. Max Stägemann, the head to the Leipzig City Theatre, offered him a contract, but when Mahler came to Leipzig and realised that he already had ambitious competition in the form of his colleague Arthur Nikisch, he almost wanted to turn around and return to Prague. Stägemann, however, insisted that Mahler fulfilled the terms of the contract, and Mahler, for his part, became Leipzig City Theatre's second conductor. At his début on 3 August 1886, Mahler conducted Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin".

He very quickly became embroiled in a rivalry with Nikisch. Mahler, 26 years old at the time, was unwilling to accept Nikisch' seniority, given that the latter was only 5 years older. When Nikisch fell ill in February 1887, Mahler had to take over his duties – something he was quite happy to do. It allowed him to conduct 214 theatrical performances and 54 different pieces during the 1887/88 season. It was also during Mahler's time that Leipzig was first introduced to Richard Strauss, whose music premièred on 13 October 1887 in the Gewandhaus. Strauss conducted his 2nd Symphony in F minor, op. 12, himself. 

One of the highlights of Mahler's career was the début performance of Car Maria von Weber's "The Three Pintos" on 20 January 1888. Mahler turned the unfinished opera sketches into a unified piece. He reconstructed Weber's work, and added his own touches. Its première was a first-rate event – even Saxony's royal couple was in attendance! Mahler received enthusiastic acclaim.

Etching of composer Gustav Mahler who worked in Leipzig, the Music City, culture
Etching of composer Gustav Mahler © Emil Orlik