Our task is to form veritable talents who possess the necessary gifts to become masters, without attending to the ungifted mediocrity.

Liszt to Giovanni Sgambati

The head of the Musicolology Department participates in the work of the new international Mahler centre

17 February 2021

The Gustav Mahler Research Center has been established by the University of Innsbruck and the Gustav Mahler "Euregio" Cultural Centre in Italy. Lóránt Péteri, head of the Musicology Department at the Liszt Academy, also became a member of the advisory board of the institution established in Toblach.

Following the inaugural meeting in the summer of 2020, held online, the Gustav Mahler Research Centre (Forschungsstelle Gustav Mahler, Centro di Ricerca Gustav Mahler), based in Toblach (Italy), recently started operations. The composer spent the last summers of his life there.

The Research Centre has been establised through the cooperation between an academic and a cultural institution (the Department of Musicology at the University of Innsbruck and the Gustav Mahler "Euregio" Cultural Centre). The Austrian university decided to establish it because, on the one hand, it offers excellent opportunities for regional cooperation and, on the other hand, two renowned researchers of the composer work there. One of them, Professor Federico Celestini, became the director of the new centre, whose work is assisted by a ten-member advisory board.

Among them is Lóránt Péteri, head of the Musicology Department at the Liszt Academy, who is also a researcher of Mahler's work. As he points out, the members include, among others, a renowned lecturer and researcher from the University of Surrey, from the University of Pisa and from the University of Graz. As he adds, Mahler worked for many years as the director of the Budapest Opera House, and his Symphony No.1 also premiered in the Hungarian capital. The composer gained valuable professional contacts here, for example with Ödön Mihalovich, the then director of the Liszt Academy of Music. Today, Mahler's oeuvre is of constant international interest in both scientific and cultural life, so from a Hungarian point of view, the Mahler phenomenon has both local and global importance, he emphasizes.       

Lóránt Péteri sums up the aim of the institution as follows: they want to provide a platform for Mahler researchers around the world to exchange ideas and build relationships, mainly to facilitate new approaches in researching the composer's oeuvre through international cooperation. "The plans include the organization of conferences and symposia, and we also want to promote Mahler related work of graduates and doctoral students, so the operation of the centre is also home to a postgraduate forum where various generations of researchers can meet. In addition, the institution also wants to build a connection with the Gustav Mahler Music Weeks in Toblach and other local events related to the composer," Professor Péteri adds.

The institution's website has been recently launched, available in German, Italian and English.