Gustav Mahler Festival 2017 in Steinbach am Attersee

Johannes Brahms - Zeitgenosse Gustav Mahlers
Johannes Brahms


“In the next few days I am going to take a little trip to Ischl where I have been meeting Brahms for years.”


The program takes a look at Mahler’s relationship to a major contemporary, Johannes Brahms, whose death 120 years ago will be marked in 2017. Both artists enjoyed the area around Steinbach, Mahler directly in the village and Brahms in nearby Bad Ischl. The younger composer visited the elder several times in the period between 1893 and 1896 and did so, in fact, on his bicycle. We will be indulging in this activity, as well, and will reenact Mahler’s trip. In Bad Ischl we will be greeted by Mayor Hannes Heide, treated to refreshments, introduced to Brahms’s world, and finally hear some of his last works, some of which he worked on in Bad Ischl. Beyond this, the Festival will, of course, offer concerts and presentations, an exhibit, and a birthday party for Gustav!


Mahler and the village of 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) over the course of four summers (through 1896).


To get even closer to the nature around him and to be able to work in peace, the composer had a hut built in a meadow on the edge of the lake. That hut, or “Komponierhäuschen” as it is known in German, is still standing today and has become a point of attraction for Mahler lovers all over the world.


The Gustav Mahler Festival in Steinbach is an annual celebration held around 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 preview

Thursday, 6th July 2017

Festive Opening

with Nicole Eder (Mayor of Steinbach am Attersee), Georg Föttinger (Managing Director of the Festival), Morten Solvik (Artistic Director of the Festival, Board of the Mahler Foundation and the International Gustav Mahler Society), and Marina Mahler (Founder of the Mahler Foundation, Mahler's granddaughter)


Mahler and Brahms in Song and Text

with Herbert Lippert, Tenor and Eduard Kutruwatz

Friday, 7th July 2017

Presentation and Demonstration:

Cycling as a Fashion and Leisure Sport in the Time of Gustav Mahler


Presentation and Talk (in English):

Uphill and Down: Mahler's Bicycle Tours Through the Austrian Landscape

Bret Wetters (Providence College and Tufts University)


Information Session (in English and German):

Presenting the Mahler Foundation

with Marina Mahler


Chamber Concert (Gustav-Mahler-Saal, Steinbach):

Gustav Mahler, Piano Quartet Movement in A minor (1876)

Johannes Brahms, Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60 (1875)

- Intermission -

Richard Strauss, Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 13 (1885)


Cristian Ruscior, Violin

Adrian Stanciu, Viola (Giocoso String Quartet)

Liina Leijala, Cello

Anna Magdalena Kokits, Piano

Saturday, 8th July 2017

Musical Excursion

Following Mahler’s Tracks to Bad Ischl

Bicycle trip from Steinbach and back (bus transfer available!)

including greeting by Mayor Hannes Heide,

city tour focusing on Brahms and a


Matinée Concert (Trinkhalle, Bad Ischl)

Brahms in Bad Ischl: Last Works


Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119

Alexandra Silocea, Piano


Clarinet Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 120, No. 2

Petra Liedauer, Clarinet

Klaus Wagner, Piano


Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121

Matthew Rose, Bass

Deirdre Brenner, Piano




Gustav Mahler’s 157th Birthday Party!

Sunday, 9th July 2017

Matinée Concert (Gustav-Mahler-Saal, Steinbach)

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

(version for chamber orchestra)


St. Peter's Chamber Orchestra, University of Oxford, UK

Conductor: John Warner

Concertmaster: Benjamin Cartlidge

Program subject to change.