In 1881/82, Gustav Mahler, composer and conductor – one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, was engaged at the State Theater in Ljubljana. Mahler conducted his first full-scale opera, Verdi’s Il trovatore, one of ten operas and a number of operettas that he presented during his time in Ljubljana. After completing this engagement, Mahler returned to Vienna.

The building in which he worked in Ljubljana burned down in 1887. With it the documentation of Mahler’s work in Ljubljana was also destroyed. A new building was soon built in its place. Today is occupied by the Slovenian Philharmonic, which is one of the world’s oldest institutions of the kind, it dates back to 1701.

In 1907, Mahler moved from Vienna to New York. In his homeland, many people did not agree with his perception of music. He thus expressed his displeasure with the following wit: This Austria is a strange country. I think you must have died here for people to let you live.