"Mahler, Folk Art and Des Knaben Wunderhorn"

3rd Gustav Mahler Festival 2018 in Steinbach am Attersee

Deutsche Version

Des Knaben Wunderhorn - Volksliedsammlung


“[Poetry] that distinguishes itself considerably from any other type of ‘literary poetry’ 

and could almost more aptly be characterized as nature and life than art.”

- Mahler on the folk poetry collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn


Early in his life, Mahler discovered Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a collection of folk poetry that exerted a considerable influence on his vocal works for nearly 20 years. What was his fascination with this relatively old book (1806)? Why did this urbane, abundantly complex composer seek out the art of the people? This year’s Festival program takes a closer look at this literary work and the folk art of the turn of the century, thereby illuminating both Mahler’s creative output and his time.




Mahler and Steinbach am Attersee

Gustav Mahler arrived in Steinbach am Attersee for the first time in the summer of 1893. 

The breathtaking surroundings worked wonders for Mahler’s creativity, inspiring half a dozen songs and most of two enormous symphonies (2nd and 3rd) composed over the course of four summers (through 1896) in a specially built hut at the water‘s edge.

Today the "Komponierhäuschen", as it is known in German, has become a point of attraction for Mahler lovers all over the world.



Gustav Mahler Festival Steinbach

The Gustav Mahler Festival in Steinbach is an annual celebration held on the composer’s birthday (7 July) that presents musical gems as well as cultural and historical insights into this unique historical place. The program purposefully sets aside time for all participants to interact with one another and to enjoy the astounding natural setting in order to celebrate the many facets of Mahler’s inspiration. 

Program 2018

Thursday, 5th July 2018

  • 17:00 Festive Opening of the 3rd Gustav Mahler Festival and the Special Exhibition 2018 [ Free entrance ]

Gustav Mahler Composing Hut Steinbach am Attersee

Exhibition curator: Dr. Renate Stark-Voit


with Marina Mahler (Granddaughter of Gustav Mahler), Dr. Morten Solvik (Festival Director), Major Nicole Eder, et al.

and the Folklore Children Dancing Group of the Schobastoana

  • 18:30 Mahler and Folk Poetry in Song and Text

Reading with Songs

Hotel Gasthof Föttinger, Steinbach am Attersee


Birgid Steinberger, Soprano

Deidre Brenner, Piano

Roman Blumenschein, Reading


- Ticket EUR 25,00 / Person

Friday, 6th July 2018

  • 10:30 Gustav Mahler & Upper Austria  [ Free entrance ]

Keynote Prof. Dr. phil. Franz Willnauer
Christian-Ludwig-Attersee-Saal, Dorfzentrum Steinbach am Attersee


  • 14:00 Folk Culture as Art and Ritual  [ Free entrance ]

Opening of Exhibition and Discussion (in German)

Christian-Ludwig-Attersee-Saal, Dorfzentrum Steinbach am Attersee


Exhibition from July 6 to 11, 2018  [ free entrance ]

Christian-Ludwig-Attersee-Saal, Dorfzentrum, Steinbach am Attersee
xhibition curator: Roswitha Gebetsroither


  • 19:30 Wunderhorn Settings by Mahler and Other Composers

Song Recital

Gustav-Mahler-Saal Seefeld, Steinbach am Attersee


Susan Zarrabi, Mezzosoprano

Alexander York, Baritone

Deirdre Brenner, Piano


- Ticket EUR 25,00 / Person


Saturday, 7th July 2018


  • 12:00 On The Trail of Mahler and Des Knaben Wunderhorn 
    [ Free entrance ]

Musical Adventure Hike, Steinbach
Meeting Point: Dorfzentrum
Event Partner Naturpark Attersee-Traunsee


              As we take a roughly three-hour walk through Steinbach's forests and along fields rich in diverse plant-life we will be presented with poems from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" ("The Youth's Magic Horn"), the folk collection that as 'witnesses to life itself' held a deep fascination for Gustav Mahler, who set dozens of them to music.



  • 17:00 Folk Music of the Monarchy

Concert with Rudi Pietsch  

 - Ticket EUR 25,00 / Person


               In front of the impressive natural scenery surrounding the Steinbach presbytery there awaits you an authentic evening of folk culture with fresh, invigorating music by Prof. Rudi Pietsch and his "Tanzgeiger" as well as performances by the guys and gals of the Gebirgstrachtenerhaltungsverein D'Schobastoana (The Society for the Preservation of Traditional Alpine Costumes), who have specially prepared old, almost been forgotten folk dances that were danced and sung in Mahler's time.

Will be held in the Gustav Mahler Saal in inclimate weather.

  • 20:00 Gustav Mahler´s 158th Birthday Party 

Dinner & Concert / Hotel Post Weißenbach


We celebrate Gustav Mahlers Birthday with three-course menue, including Mahlers favourite food ´Marillenknödel´

(apricot dumplings) and music by Agnes Palmisano.


Menue € 25,00 / Person
Reservation requested, T: +43 7663 8141
Event Partner Hotel Post Weißenbach

with Agnes Palmisano

Impression Adventure Hike
Impression Adventure Hike
Mendelssohn: 3 Lieder Op. 84, III. ‘Jagdlied’             Mendelssohn: 6 Lieder Op. 86, VI. ‘Altdeutsches Frühlingslied’             Brahms Op. 75/2, ‘Guter Rat´            Joy Lisney: Auftragswerk - Neue Komposition            Brahms: Op. 76/2 Capriccio
Rudi Pietsch & Die Tanzgeiger
Agnes Palmisano Trio at Mahler´s 158th Birthday Party
Agnes Palmisano Trio at Mahler´s 158th Birthday Party

Sunday, 8th July 2018

  • 11:00 Matinée Concert: Mahler, Symphony No. 4
    Gustav-Mahler-Saal Seefeld, Steinbach am Attersee

          Mendelssohn: 3 Songs Op. 84, III. ‘Jagdlied’ 
          Mendelssohn: 6 Songs Op. 86, VI. ‘Altdeutsches Frühlingslied’ 
          Brahms Op. 75/2, ‘Guter Rat´
          Joy Lisney: New commission
          Brahms: Op. 76/2 Capriccio in B minor
          Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (Version for chamber orchestra)
          Orchestra for the Earth (OFE)
          John Warner, conductor

          Gabriella Noble, soprano


          Ticket EUR 25,00 / Person


Safe the Date - Mahler Festival Preview 2018
Safe the Date - Mahler Festival Steinbach 2018
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 788.9 KB

 We invite you to use our information service: Contact

Program subject to change.

Es wird darauf hingewiesen, dass am Veranstaltungsort Fotos und/oder Videos angefertigt werden und zu Zwecken der Dokumentation der Veranstaltung veröffentlicht werden können.