How the Jew in Gustav Mahler changed the music of the West

Norman Lebrecht

27/02/2011
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Norman Lebrecht’s best-selling book Why Mahler? examines how a composer, scorned and rejected for decades, has come to replace Beethoven at the centre of symphonic culture. Here, especially for Jewish Book Week, Norman Lebrecht explained how Mahler’s major innovations in music stem directly from his Jewish heritage and the trauma of exile and shares his passion for the great composer with us.

Norman Lebrecht


Norman Lebrecht is the world’s bestselling author on classical music. His most recent book was the critically acclaimed Why Mahler? His Whitbread Award-winning novel, The Song of Names, is currently being developed into a feature film. Aside from the history of Western music, he has a lifelong passion for the culture and chronicles of the Jewish people. He lives in London.

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