Mahler, Fritz, 1901-1973

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Fritz Mahler was an Austro-American conductor, composer, music teacher and radio personality.

Mahler was born on July 16, 1901 in Vienna, where his father was professor of Oriental languages at the university. He came from a family with some musical background; he was a third cousin of the composer Gustav Mahler. He studied musicology with Guido Adler at the University of Vienna (1920-1924), conducting with Leopold Reichwein, and composition with Schoenberg, Webern and Berg. By the time he graduated from the University of Vienna in 1924, Fritz Mahler had already conducted orchestras in Bad Hall (1920-1924), the Vienna Opera, the National Theater in Mannheim, as well as the Volksoper in Vienna. Soon after graduation, Mahler conducted the Berlin Radio Symphony. In 1930, he moved to Copenhagen to conduct the Danish State Symphony Orchestra. Mahler was a permanent conductor for this orchestra from 1930-1935. Invited by the Columbia Broadcasting Company to conduct a series of concerts in New York, Mahler came to the USA in 1935. Shortly after his arrival, he took on duties as musical director of Phildadelphia's La Scala Opera Company. In 1939, Mahler became a United States citizen and married Pauline Koner (a dancer and choreographer).

From 1939-1950, Mahler was associated with the Juilliard Summer School of Music as director of the opera department and teacher of advanced conducting. He also was guest lecturer at Barnard College and Fredonia State Teachers College. From October 1940 to September 1941, Mahler was the Director of Music for the National Youth Administration in New York and from 1947-1953, he was conductor of the Erie (Pa.) Philharmonic orchestra. While he was there, the Philharmonic was cited for its services to American contemporary music. From 1953-1964, Mahler was the conductor of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He expanded the Orchestra's role in the musical life of Greater Hartford; organizing the Young People's Concerts at the Bushnell and founding the Hartford Little Symphony, the forerunner of today's Hartford Symphony Chamber Orchestra. With the Hartford ensemble, he made several recordings and introduced some important works to American audiences. Mahler's contract in Hartford was not renewed and and from 1964 to 1969, he engaged in musical tours abroad. Fritz Mahler died on June 18, 1973 in Winston-Salem, NC.

From the description of Fritz Mahler papers, 1906-1973. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122454783

Fritz Mahler was born on July 16, 1901 in Vienna, where his father was professor of Oriental languages at the university. Coming from a family with great musical traditions (Fritz is a relative of Gustav Mahler), his talents in music were fostered. He studied musicology with Guido Adler at the University of Vienna (1920-1924), conducting with Leopold Reichwein, and composition with Schoenberg, Anton von Webern and Alban Berg.

By the time he graduated from the University of Vienna in 1924, Fritz Mahler had already conducted in Bad Hall (1920-1924), the Vienna Opera, the National Theater in Mannheim, as well as the Volksoper in Vienna. Soon after graduation, Mahler conducted the Berlin Radio Symphony. In 1930, he moved to Copenhagen to conduct the Danish State Symphony Orchestra. Mahler was a permanent conductor for this orchestra from 1930-1935.

From 1935 to 1947, Mahler experienced major changes in both his private and professional life. Invited by the Columbia Broadcasting Company to conduct a series of concerts in New York, Mahler came to the USA in 1935. Shortly after his arrival, he took on duties as musical director of Philadelphia's La Scala Opera Company. In 1939, Mahler became a United States citizen and married Pauline Koner (renowned dancer and choreographer). From 1939-1950, Mahler was associated with the Juilliard Summer School of Music as director of the opera department and teacher of advanced conducting. He also was guest lecturer at Barnard College and Fredonia State Teachers College. From October 1940 to September 1941, Mr. Mahler was the Director of Music for the National Youth Administration in New York.

From 1947-1953, Fritz Mahler was conductor of the Erie (Pa.) Philharmonic orchestra. Under his leadership, the Erie Philharmonic became nationally known for the many important and interesting works which were performed for the first time in this country. In the October 1951 issue of Musical America, the Philharmonic received special citations for its services to American contemporary music.

From 1953-1964, Mahler was the conductor of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO). In his effort to expand the Orchestra's role in the musical life of Greater Hartford, Mahler left a lasting legacy on the institution--e.g. the Young People's Concerts he organized at the Bushnell are an HSO tradition and the Hartford Little Symphony, founded during his first season, was a forerunner of today's Hartford Symphony Chamber Orchestra. With the Hartford ensemble, he made several recordings and introduced some important works to American audiences.

Fritz Mahler's contract with the HSO was not renewed and so he chose to explore conducting assignments in Europe, Asia and South America. From 1964 to 1969, he engaged in these musical tours abroad.

Fritz Mahler died on June 18, 1973 in Winston-Salem, NC.

Sources: “Biography.” (Box 3, Folder 9). “Hartford Symphony Orchestra.” Retrieved from http://www.volunteersolutions.org/uwcact/org/217098.html on April 23, 2004. New York Times Obituary. “Fritz Mahler, 72, Conductor, Dead: Led Erie Philharmonic and the Hartford Symphony;” Proquest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1857-Current file): Jun. 19, 1973, p.42. [Please note: His last name is correctly spelled in article, but not for Proquest search results; in order to retrieve this article the researcher needs to type in Marler and give date of article.] Slonimsky, Nicolas. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. 7th ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 1984. Wier, Albert, E. The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938.

From the guide to the Fritz Mahler papers, 1906-1973, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Fritz Mahler papers, 1906-1973 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Frederick Jacobi collection of noncommercial recordings [sound recording], 1935-1947 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Moldenhauer Archives at the Library of Congress, circa 1000-circa 1990 Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Orff, Carl, 1895-1982. Carmina burana [Multimédia multisupport] / Orff, comp. ; Sylvia Stahlman, soprano ; John Ferrante, ténor ; Morley Meredith, baryton ; Hartford Symphony Chorale ; Hartford Symphony Orchestra ; Fritz Mahler, dir. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Koner, Pauline. Solitary song / by Pauline Koner. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Pauline Koner papers, 1905-2000 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Mahler, Fritz. Fritz Mahler papers, 1906-1973. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Henry Cowell collection of noncommercial recordings [sound recording], 1940-1953 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Orff, Carl, 1895-1982. Carmina burana [Multimédia multisupport] / Orff, comp. ; Sylvia Stahlman, soprano ; John Ferrante, ténor ; Morley Meredith, baryton ; Hartford Symphony Chorale ; Hartford Symphony Orchestra ; Fritz Mahler, dir. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951. Serge Koussevitzky Archive, 1920-1976 (bulk: 1924-1951) Library of Congress. Music Division
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Music Collection corporateBody
associatedWith Berg, Alban, 1885-1935. person
associatedWith Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965 person
associatedWith Erie Philharmonic Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Music Project (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hartford Symphony Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Jacobi, Frederick, 1891-1952 person
associatedWith Koner, Pauline. person
correspondedWith Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951 person
associatedWith Moldenhauer, Hans. person
associatedWith Moldenhauer, Hans. person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith United States National Youth Administration New York (City). corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Conductors (Music)
Conductors (Music)--United States
Occupation
Conductors (Music)
Activity

Person

Birth 1901-07-16

Death 1973-06-18

German,

Polish,

English

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