Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 was nicknamed ‘the Tragic’, after the fate motif. He composed
this work at an exceptionally devastating time in his life: he had been dismissed from the Viennese opera, his daughter Maria Anna died, and he was diagnosed with heart failure. The famous hammer strikes, which also add a visual element to the performance of this symphony, are said to symbolise these three mighty blows of fate in Mahler’s life. The composition is a moment of introspection, providing us with an insight into the artist’s state of mind. The poignant Andante, meanwhile, offers a moment of serene contemplation. The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by none other than emeritus conductor and Mahler specialist Jaap van Zweden: an excellent opportunity to hear this powerful work live.