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For this episode, Akiko and I just had a one-word outline: Mahler! And it turns out we had plenty to say about his symphonies. What’s it like to learn them, refine them, rehearse them, take them on tour? What do committees look for when you play Mahler?
Hear about the time Akiko was mortified to play Mahler 9 with David Hyde Pierce (Frasier‘s Niles Crane) in the front row! Or the time Nathan got a death stare from Daniel Barenboim during… well, also during Mahler 9!
And as to Nathan’s comment that Gustav Mahler was perhaps the New York Philharmonic’s first music director? He was actually its ninth! Nathan was under the misapprehension that the NY Phil began around the same time as so many other American orchestras, in the early part of the 20th century… in fact, New York got its start in 1848, whereas Mahler wasn’t born until 1860! Mahler spent the last two years of his life, 1909-1911, at the helm of the Philharmonic.