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Alma Mahler
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Composer
    (August 31, 1879-December 11, 1964)
    Born in Vienna, Austria
    Birth name was Alma Margaretha Maria Schindler
    Composed seventeen lieder for voice and piano
    Married composer Gustav Mahler (1902-11), architect Walter Gropius (1915-20) and author Franz Werfel (1929-45)
    She is better known for her husbands than her compositions.
    She began an affair with Gropius while still married to Mahler and one with Werfel while still married to Gropius.
    She was an anti-Semite (and Holocaust denier) who married two Jewish men.
    She openly preferred Manon, the daughter she had with Gropius, over Anna, the daughter she had with Mahler, because Manon was a ‘pure Aryan.’
    She had Werfel baptized as a Catholic on his deathbed against his wishes.
    She heavily edited Mahler’s papers and letters, and went so far as to insist on changing the order of the movements of his Sixth Symphony.
    She was called ‘the most beautiful woman in Vienna.’
    Mahler told her that if she were ugly, men would not care about her intellect or her artistic talents.
    Mahler discouraged her from composing, writing ‘The role of the composer, the worker’s role, falls on me. Yours is that of a loving companion and understanding partner.’
    Her daughter Maria died of scarlet fever at age five (1907), her son Martin died of hydrocephalus at the age of 10 months (1919), and her daughter Manon died of polio at age 18 (1935).
    Alban Berg dedicated the opera ‘Wozzeck’ to her and Benjamin Britten dedicated ‘Nocturne for Tenor and Small Orchestra’ to her.

Credit: C. Fishel


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