Gustav Mahler was born in Kaliste in Bohemia. His father was a distillery owner. At the time of Mahler's birth, Bohemia and this village were a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.   The house in which he was born remained as the village inn right up to 1990, when it became a museum and recital hall dedicated to Mahler. Today it is in the Czech republic.  Kaliste is between Brno and Prague, the nearest town being Jihlava.

Mahler was a pupil of Bruckner in Vienna, and he was also influenced by Wagner.   He was a world-renowned and much-travelled conductor.  

His music links the 20th century with the romantic traditions of the 19th century. His style may be described as a late German romantic. He wrote 9 symphonies for a very large orchestra, several of these involving the human voice as well.