Feminine Musique

Alma Mahler

Alma Mahler (then Schindler) played piano from childhood and in her memoirs reports that she first attempted composing at age 9. She studied composition with Josef Labor beginning in 1895. She met Alexander von Zemlinsky in early 1900, began composition lessons with him that fall, and continued as his student until her engagement to Gustav Mahler (December 1901), after which she ceased composing. Up until that time, she had composed/sketched many Lieder, and also worked on instrumental pieces as well as a segment of an opera. She resumed composing sporadically after 1910. Only a total of 17 songs by her survive. Fourteen of her songs were published during her lifetime, in three publications dated 1910, 1915, and 1924; it is unclear whether she continued composing at all after her last publication. Three additional songs by Alma were discovered in manuscript posthumously; two of them were published in the year 2000, and one remains unpublished.

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