Mahler, Alma

COMPOSER (AUSTRIA)
BORN 31 Aug 1879, Wien - DIED 11 Dec 1964, New York City, New York
REAL NAME Schindler, Alma
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Grinzinger Friedhof, 19., An den langen Lüssen 33 (6-6-7)

Daughter of landscape painter Emil Jacob Schindler. Ze was educated by Alexander von Zemlinsky (who wanted to marry her) and she was a friend of Gustav Klimt who wanted to have her 'alone' in his studio and even followed the family to Italy. Klimt told her that he couldn't marry her because he had other obligations and he suffered from syphillis. After Alma's mother discovered that Klimt had actually kissed her the affair was put to an end.

In 1902 she married Gustav Mahler and he forced her to give up composition. They had two daughters, Maria and Anna. Maria died in 1907. Around 1910 the marriage was falling apart. When Mahler found out that she had an affair with Walter Gropius he visited Freud in Leiden for relation therapy. However, the marriage was doomed and Mahler died in 1912. Alma now started an affair with the painter Kokoschka, who portrayed her at his painting "Die Windsbraut" ("The Bride of the Wind") in 1914. In 1915 she married Gropius after all. they had a daughter, Manon, but they separated after she had a son by Franz Werfel in 1918. The child was born two months early after a wild night of passion and because it was sickly Alma concluded that Werfel had to be the father. The child died after ten months.

In 1921 Alban Berg dedicated his opera "Wozzeck" to Alma. She married the chain smoking Werfel in 1929. In 1932 she had an affair with theology professor Johannes Hollnsteiner. In 1934 Manon suddenly became violently ill and she was paralyzed within a day. It turned out that she had polio and she died suddenly in 1935.

At the end of the 1930's they fled Germany for the nazi's and went to the USA. Werfel died in 1945 in California. In 1958 her autobiography was published.

Family
• Father: Schindler, Emil Jakob
• Husband: Mahler, Gustav
• Husband: Werfel, Franz

Related persons
• visited Bloch-Bauer, Adele
• was a friend of Klimt, Gustav
• was the lover of Kokoschka, Oskar
• was a friend of Schönberg, Arnold
• was pupil to Zemlinsky, Alexander von

Sources
NRC Handelsblad, Dagbladunie, Rotterdam
Encyclopedia Britannica
Kulturregister 19. Jh, Gustav Mahler - Amerika

Images

The grave of Alma Mahler at the Grinzinger Friedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (29 Aug 2002)

 

The grave of Alma Mahler at the Grinzinger Friedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (29 Aug 2002)

 


Mahler, Gustav

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 4 Sep 2010