He's more than a bunch of symphonies and songs. Even those are not what you think. And although the music stopped with his death in 1911—100 years later, his time is now. During four months of concerts, jam sessions, conversation, and film, free your mind about what Mahler really means.

Mahler authority Gilbert Kaplan sets NEC's Mahler celebration in motion with his hour-long, multimedia presentation—the perfect prelude to tonight's concert featuring the original version of Mahler's Symphony No. 1.

Host of the "Mad about Music" program on WQXR radio in New York, and a faculty member of the Juilliard School (Evening Division), Kaplan has offered versions of this presentation as a course and as broadcast episodes of "Mad about Music," prior to this presentation at NEC.

Gilbert KaplanThis multimedia presentation surveys the composer’s turbulent life and his gripping music with more than 200 projected images of historical photographs and illustrations as well as 40 recorded musical excerpts—all in the space of an hour. Kaplan writes:

Mahler was one of the great Romantics and, at the same time, one of the first of the modernists. His creative mind was preoccupied with how things end and how they are reborn. With the deaths of Brahms and Bruckner, it was Mahler who set forth a new agenda as he brought the symphony into the 20th century. Perhaps more than any other composer, Mahler was capable of expressing feelings in his music. He said that a symphony “must be like the world: it must embrace everything”—and his do. Every emotion possible finds its way into his music: hope and despair, belief and doubt, triumph and tragedy, beauty and bleakness.

Kaplan's work with Mahler encompasses both performance and scholarship, and includes appearances in publications ranging from London's musicological journal The Musical Times to The New York Times, as well as the illustrated biography The Mahler Album. Since his debut public concert in 1983 in Carnegie Hall conducting Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Kaplan has led more than 50 orchestras, and conducted the opening concert of the 1996 Salzburg Festival.

This presentation is a free, card-admission event. "Early admission" cards for the "Mahler's Legacy" presentation will be available beginning at 4pm on September 26. Your "early admission" card will also guarantee you early access when you return to Jordan Hall for the 7:30 concert, "The First of Mahler." This access window, from 6:45 to 7:00pm, will only be available to attendees of "Mahler's Legacy."

Please note, the September 26 print edition of The Boston Globe includes incorrect start times for both of today's Mahler events at NEC. Gilbert Kaplan's presentation begins at 5:30 and the concert at 7:30, as published on the NEC website and other NEC publicity materials.

Date: September 26, 2011 - 5:30:PM
Price: Free
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

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I REMAIN TRUE TO MY STARTING PRINCIPLE. TO WRITE SOLELY AS I MYSELF THINK BEST. FELIX MENDELSSOHN