“Mahler’s First was the great emotion of my youth”
Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?
Chailly: Yes, very clearly; it was in the early 60s in Rome, at the Auditorium del Foro Italico with the RAI Rome Orchestra. I attended a rehearsal of the 1st Symphony, conducted by Zubin Mehta, who was very young at that time. I was there because my father was working at the RAI Rome, programming classical music. He had to leave for a meeting and said, “Stay here for one hour and don’t move, don’t talk, don’t do anything!” When I heard the power of the music it left me feeling at a complete standstill. I didn’t know what to do, how to react” – it was the great emotion of my youth.