Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

Donald Portnoy


Many modern conductors of Mahler's works face challenges when attempting to understand how Mahler himself performed them. There is much debate over tempo and the 'correct' interpretation of Mahler's works. In dealing with the interpretation of Mahler' works, one must certainly lend the most credence to those that knew him, worked with him and even watched him at work. This study explores the relationships between Mahler and his two most notable disciples Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer. It also explores the influences that Mahler had on their careers and conducting philosophies, and the significance of these relationships in determining whether the performances of Walter and Klemperer represent authentic Mahler performances. Finally, this study also explores, in some detail, the issues of tempo in the recordings and performances of Mahler's Ninth Symphony by Walter and Klemperer. At issue is whether or not a tradition exists in any Mahler performance and whether those closest to him represent authenticity in interpreting his works.