The International Gustav Mahler Society (IGMS) conducts and promotes scholarly research into the life and work of Gustav Mahler, the history of its reception, the music historical and cultural historical background of Gustav Mahler’s era, and the dissemination of his work.
The IGMS is the oldest globally active Mahler research institution. Founded by the Vienna Philharmonic in 1955, it has made a fundamental contribution to the dissemination and intensified reception of Mahler's work since its inception by publishing text-critical editions of Mahler’s works (Critical Complete Edition since 1960, New Critical Complete Edition since 2008). The curating of exhibitions as well as the scientific direction and support of symposia, colloquia and lectures are also among the fields of activity of the IGMS. The archive of the Society with numerous primary and secondary sources is a magnet for researchers and Mahler lovers from all over the world. The News about Mahler Research, a journal published by the Society since 1976, has 76 issues to date (each in German and English) and is an important international forum for scholarly discussion of the life and work of Mahler. The editions will be made available in digitized form from the summer of 2023 via the renowned repository RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text.
Through these diverse activities, the Society is closely networked (not least with the help of its approximately 500 members) with Mahler experts and interested parties worldwide. With the relaunch of the website in 2023, this networking will enter a new stage and enable even more far-reaching forms of communication. With the digitization of its holdings, the IGMS will make important documents of Austrian cultural history freely accessible and thus make a decisive contribution to intensifying corresponding musicological and cultural studies.
The IGMS is closely connected with numerous important personalities and institutions within the Austrian cultural landscape. Members of the Vienna Philharmonic are involved as board members and auditors of the society, Kammersänger Thomas Hampson is just as closely connected as artistic advisor to the IGMS as are numerous other renowned conductors, orchestras, and concert organizers as well as scientific institutions in Austria and worldwide. There is currently particularly close cooperation with the Gustav Mahler Science Center at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (director: Christian Glanz, also an advisory board member of the IGMS) and the Gustav Mahler Research Center Toblach (director: Federico Celestini, also an executive board member of the IGMS). In view of the enormous number of Mahler performances and a veritable boom in Mahler research worldwide, the IGMS is at the center of extremely dynamic developments.
The Society pursues these goals in particular through the following activities:
- carrying out research projects, scholarly studies, and pedagogical initiatives (in cooperation),
- documentation and publication of research results, including the Critical Complete Edition of Gustav Mahler’s works, based on the highest scientific standards,
- (co-)organization of exhibitions, (moderated) concerts and symposiums that correspond to research and teaching purposes,
- management of an archive and a library,
- release of publications of all kinds, in particular concerning written, audio, and image sources on Mahler,
- use of digital media,
- cooperation with national and international institutions of all kinds with the same or similar objectives.