Taking Mahler back to the Alps
In 2017, OFE made history.
They took Mahler’s music back to the three Alpine towns where it was composed, the first time these locations have ever been connected by any single orchestra. They stunned local audiences with a series of performances of the Ninth Symphony, and have returned every summer since. Like many composers, Mahler took great inspiration from the natural world, and the three ‘composing huts’ at the heart of the tour are situated in remote mountainous locations of outstanding beauty. Each year OFE brings a new programme of music by Mahler and other composers who loved this region, visiting places that were special to them. The tour’s principles of connecting music with its environmental roots remain the central inspiration for all our work.
Gustav Mahler's Field of Flowers
As well as being a unique artistic endeavour, the Alpine Tours also have an important environmental purpose.
OFE is working together with the Naturpark Attersee Traunsee to create a new nature reserve in Mahler's name. 'Gustav Mahler's Field of Flowers', which was made open to the public in 2019, is a meadow near Mahler's summer composing residence in Steinbach am Attersee, Austria.
By reconnecting this music with the Alpine settings that inspired it, we are helping to build vital cross-community support for environmental protection and climate action in these areas. Funded by donations collected at OFE's Alpine Tour concerts, the meadow helps the special biodiversity of Mahler's beloved countryside to thrive, allowing future generations to benefit from it. It features information boards so that visitors can learn about the various native flora and fauna that Mahler loved, and that are in ever-growing need of our protection.
Field of flowers photograph © 2018 John Warner.