Andris Nelsons on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler wanted to show the world: I have a problem!”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Nelsons: The first time I consciously heard Mahler’s music was his 1st Symphony. It was strange because I was very much interested in nature sounds at the time, in music about nature. I had recordings of water sounds and bird songs and one day I asked somebody what music they could recommend I listen to if I liked that kind of music, just out of interest.

This person gave me a tape and said, “There is one composer … He had forgotten the name, but it was Mahler’s 1st Symphony. The beginning, which is a chord in the strings, is also the sound of nature, absolutely” [sings]. This was the first Mahler that I heard; I was maybe 11 or 12 years old and I fell in love with his music.


Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

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