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Alma Mahler (1879-1964)

Born 31 August 1879
Vienna, Austria
Died 11 December 1964
New York City, New York
Nationality Austrian
Era Romantic

Alma Mahler was born in Vienna to artist Emil Schindler. She began to study music at a young age, composing her first songs when she was nine years old. Her primary composition teacher was Alexander von Zemlinsky, a prominent Viennese music teacher.

She became engaged to composer Gustav Mahler in December 1901, at which point she stopped composing. Their marriage was quite troubled; Gustav was eventually persuaded to publish some of her compositions. Only 17 songs by her remain, but most of them were published during her lifetime.

Following Gustav’s death, she remarried novelist Franz Werfel, with whom she fled Nazi-occupied Austria. She eventually settled in the United States, first California then New York. She was also a prolific writer, penning a number of autobiographical tomes. They are quite detailed, documenting the life of the “New Woman” of the 1890s.

See Also:
Susan Melanie Filler. Gustav and Alma Mahler: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Oliver Hilmes. Malevolent Muse: The Life of Alma Mahler. Translated by Donald Arthur. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2015.

Susanne Keegan. The Bridge of the Wind: The Life and Times of Alma Mahler-Werfel. London: Secker & Warburg, 1991.

Alma Mahler. Gustav Mahler: Memories and Letters. Translated by Basil Creighton. New York: The Viking Press, 1946.

Examples by Alma Mahler