You updated your password.

Reset Password

Enter the email address you used to create your account. We will email you instructions on how to reset your password.

Forgot Your Email Address? Contact Us

Reset Your Password


Great Masters: Mahler—His Life and Music

Delve into the musical study of Mahler, who, along with being a composer, was the greatest opera conductor of his time.
Great Masters: Mahler—His Life and Music is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 45.
  • y_2024, m_7, d_14, h_4
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_5, tr_40
  • loc_en_CA, sid_756, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getAggregateRating, 54.99ms
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good video Good all round survey from prof Green berg. Informative with a bit of humour thrown in.
Date published: 2022-05-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great lectures - but want more music! Dr. Greenberg brings Mahler to life - and then some! His enthusiasm for Mahler is quite obvious and this course is a bit more enjoyable than the one on Brahms, also by Dr. Greenberg. As far as both, I was expecting a bit more music and notes on the music (similar to what one would get at a concert) and a bit less on the "life and times" of the composers - but still very worthwhile courses.
Date published: 2022-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You will listen to the music differently after hearing this. We have had all of the Great Masters lectures and enjoyed listening to them again while doing jigsaw puzzles during the pandemic. All are excellent! We learned so much & enjoy the music more. Highly recommend for anyone wanting a historical & biographical take on this composer.
Date published: 2022-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I had known a bit about Mahler——just enough to be intrigued by this course. It did not disappoint! I learned a great deal about Mahler and his music. I can now listen with much more understanding and appreciation.
Date published: 2022-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Heights and the Depths Achingly beautiful. Masterfully told. Mahler suffered and showed us how it felt, so be careful not to listen to the first two lectures when you are depressed. According to Schachtel in his Metamorphosis, artists suffer emotionally; Science keeps us on a more even keel. I remember going to the Vienna Funkhaus to hear Mahler's Fourth Symphony. I was 27 and noticed the power of the music, but not the pain. Now I'm 81 and was struck by the depths of the manic-depressive emotion in this wonderful look into Mahler's life and work.
Date published: 2019-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another fascinating series of lectures This series on Mahler was included in the package of Great Master composers that I purchased. As I have listened to each of the biographies of the 10 composers who were included in this package, I have fallen in love with that composer to the exclusion of the others. When I listened to Schuman's bio, I thought what a great, tortured soul; I loved him, I loved his music. I was convinced I wouldn't like that Liszt guy...only to find quite to the contrary. In the end I have ended up loving and appreciating each of these masters. Professor Greenberg loves his subject matter and it shows as he makes you love it as well. Now I am finishing up Mahler and, as with the previous 7 (I have been listening to them in chronological order), I will really miss this man, Herr Mahler. I keep listening to his symphony #1 over and over. As Professor G is pretty even-handed in describing his subjects' complexities, their positives and negatives, I have been able to understand their human side as well as their genius natures. I would like to thank Dr. Greenberg for his wonderful, enthusiastic and entertaining presentations. I am sure I will return to these lectures again as they are so dense I have much left to learn and re-learn. I am quite a novice at classical music and Dr. G has greatly enriched my appreciation of this genre. I have even visited the symphony a couple times for the first time in my life. I so much appreciate this, even at my age, 65, there is so much still in life to discover and appreciate. Thank you
Date published: 2019-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Loved it, enjoyed it and learned from it. What more can I ask? Well, in this time and age, some short videos would make it even more atractive. Example: seeing the orchestra and choruses fro Mahler's 8th Symphomy will make even clearer the Symphony of a thousqand nickname.
Date published: 2019-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthusiastic presentation! Dr. Greenberg gives a highly spirited series of lectures on this influential master. Mahler's complex personality and his complex music are analyzed in a directly understandable overview. Much deeper appreciation of this profound composer and conductor. The only improvement? Recordings of music conducted by Mahler himself!
Date published: 2019-01-10
  • y_2024, m_7, d_14, h_4
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_5, tr_40
  • loc_en_CA, sid_756, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 4.41ms


More than many other composers, Gustav Mahler's works are highly personal expressions of his inner world-one characterized by an overwhelming sense of alienation and loneliness. Great Masters: Mahler-His Life and Music is a biographical and musical study of Mahler, who, along with being a composer, was the greatest opera conductor of his time. Professor Robert Greenberg's lectures bring to life this complex, anxiety-bound visionary, whose continual search for perfection and the answers to life's mysteries is profoundly reflected in his symphonies and songs. These lectures also include more than a dozen excerpts from Mahler's symphonies and other works.


Robert Greenberg

For thousands of years cultures have celebrated themselves through their music. Let us always be willing and able to join that celebration by listening as carefully as we can to what, through music, we have to say to one another.


San Francisco Performances

Dr. Robert Greenberg is Music Historian-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances. A graduate of Princeton University, Professor Greenberg holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, Berkeley. He has seen his compositions-which include more than 45 works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles-performed all over the world, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, England, Ireland, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands.

He has served on the faculties of the University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Hayward; and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has lectured for some of the most prestigious musical and arts organizations in the United States, including the San Francisco Symphony, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Van Cliburn Foundation, and the Chicago Symphony. For The Great Courses, he has recorded more than 500 lectures on a range of composers and classical music genres.

Professor Greenberg is a Steinway Artist. His many other honors include three Nicola de Lorenzo Composition Prizes and a Koussevitzky commission from the Library of Congress. He has been profiled in various major publications, including The Wall Street Journal; Inc. magazine; and the London Times.

You can find more music content from Robert Greenberg on Patreon:

By This Professor

The 23 Greatest Solo Piano Works
Music as a Mirror of History
Great Music of the 20th Century
Symphonies of Beethoven
The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works
How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition
Introduction and Childhood

01: Introduction and Childhood

From the time he was quite young, Mahler was entranced by music and became devoted to the piano from about the age of five. One of the most significant aspects of his life was his sense of alienation, brought on largely by his Jewish heritage. Tensions created by the Czech, Germanic, and Jewish culture of which Mahler was a part may be one of the elements that makes his work so striking and fascinating.

47 min
Mahler the Conductor

02: Mahler the Conductor

Mahler's early life was deeply affected by the death of his brother and influenced by the work of Richard Wagner. He studied, composed, and became a conductor at the Royal Hungarian Opera in Budapest.

44 min
Early Songs and Symphony No. 1

03: Early Songs and Symphony No. 1

Mahler's years in Budapest were quite successful. He composed many lieder, German romantic songs. In 1887, Mahler discovered a poetic anthology, Des knaben Wunderhorn, or The Youth's Magic Horn, which became one of his greatest inspirations. Later that year he began composing his Symphony no. 1, which focuses on the struggle between hope and despair.

46 min
The Wunderhorn Symphonies

04: The Wunderhorn Symphonies

In 1893 Mahler returned to composing, beginning with Symphony no. 2, the first of the so-called Wunderhorn symphonies. Symphony no. 3, written almost immediately after the second, is a natural companion piece. The Symphony no. 4 is Mahler's "classical" symphony, addressing a child's innocent view of life and heaven without the intervening step of death.

48 min
Alma and Vienna

05: Alma and Vienna

In November of 1901, Mahler met Alma Schindler, and in March of the following year, the two were married. His appointment as music director in 1897 at the Vienna Opera created a firestorm in the press, but his debut was a triumph. He also instituted reforms at the opera, and his first few years there were phenomenally successful.

42 min
Family Life and Symphony No. 5

06: Family Life and Symphony No. 5

Mahler experienced the best years of his life from 1902 to 1907. He and Alma had started a family and built a summerhouse where Mahler could compose. In 1902, Mahler completed his Symphony no. 5, a superb example of the Expressionist art movement. Mahler befriended Arnold Schönberg, one of the most well-known Expressionist composers of the early 20th century.

47 min
Symphony No. 6, and Das Lied von der Erde

07: Symphony No. 6, and Das Lied von der Erde

Three events shattered the Mahlers' lives in 1907: his resignation from the Royal Vienna Opera, the death of their elder daughter, and the diagnosis of his heart disease. In 1908, Mahler threw himself into composing Das Lied von der Erde as an attempt to find solace from the grief of his daughter's death. The work is a symphonic song cycle about loss, grief, memory, disintegration, and transfiguration.

45 min
Das Lied, Final Symphonies, and the End

08: Das Lied, Final Symphonies, and the End

Mahler next completed Symphony no. 9, which is filled with contemplation of his own mortality. Symphony no. 10 was left incomplete at his death. During this time, Mahler was working in New York and spending the off seasons in Europe. He died in Vienna in 1911; according to Alma his last word was: "Mozart!"

47 min