Gustav Mahler’s Sound: Between Creative Process, Performance, and Reception

International Symposium. Gustav Mahler Research Center Dobbiaco,

18–20 July 2024 Grand Hotel Dobbiaco (Alto Adige, Italy)

in collaboration with the FWF Science Fund and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz

Symposium Chairs
Tobias Janz (University of Bonn)
Christian Utz (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz)

Lectures and contributions by Jack Adler-McKean (Manchester), Klaus Aringer (Graz), Jeremy Barham (Surrey), Karol Berger (Stanford), Julian Caskel (Essen), Federico Celestini (Innsbruck), Hermann Danuser (Berlin), Emily Dolan (Providence), Anna Ficarella (Rome/Vienna), Anne Holzmüller (Marburg), Tobias Janz (Bonn), Dimitrios Katharopoulos (Graz), Edwin K. C. Li (Hong Kong), Majid Motavasseli (Graz), Lóránt Péteri (Budapest), Sam Reenan (Miami), Peter Revers (Graz), Fredrica Roos (Uppsala), Robert Samuels (Milton Keynes), Minoru Shimizu (Kyoto), Anna Stoll Knecht (Locarno/Paris), Nikolaus Urbanek (Vienna), Sybille Werner (Toblach)

The sound of Gustav Mahler’s music – its idiosyncratic “tone” – is unmistakable. In chamber music song settings or in the large orchestra (expanded by choir and soloists), whether on disc or in the concert, this tone evokes the period of its creation: the fin de siècle, Viennese modernism, and their social fault lines. This sound also opens a wealth of music-historical, music-analytical, intertextual, and cultural dimensions, which are complexified due to their multitudinous interwoven aspects. A multi-perspective approach seems necessary if one wants to better understand a phenomenon that is located in a characteristic way between composition, performance, and interpretation as well as listening reception. The aim of this international symposium is to bring research perspectives engaged with Mahler’s sound into dialogue and at the same time to develop new approaches to analysis and historical and cultural-scientific interpretation. Four sections focus on the areas of Sound Analysis, Sources and the Creative Process, Performance Practice and Performance History, and Mediatized Sound.

The symposium is a cooperation between the Gustav Mahler Research Center Toblach (, founded in 2020, and the Graz research project “Multiple Dimensions in Performances of Mahler’s Symphonies” (, funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. The venue is the Euregio Cultural Center Gustav Mahler Toblach (

The detailed program will be announced in May 2024.

Call for Papers (German)
Call for Papers (English)