Franz Liszt was born in Hungary in 1811 and at a very young age showed an interest in music. Even before he reached the age of ten, he showed great talent. Initially taught by his father, he moved to Vienna where he studied piano and composition under Salieri. Later he moved to Paris to continue his studies, but he was not admitted to the Conservatory of the French capital directed at the time by Luigi Cherubini. Despite that, his fame grew and in 1825 at the age of 14 Liszt performed in London in the presence of King George IV. Liszt travelled throughout Europe in the following years until 1833. By the 1840s he was widely acclaimed, reaching the apex of his carrier and creativity. The death of his daughter in 1862 marked a turning point when he decided to dedicate himself to religious life. In 1865 he received minor orders and became an abbot.
From this point onwards his compositions were increasingly focused on sacred music. Gustav Mahler was born in what is today the Czech Republic. His father also had him study music at an early age, and at 15 he entered the conservatory of Vienna where he immediately received great recognition. After completing his studies, Mahler specialized in conducting and was a great success among the public and critics alike. In contrast, his compositions were not appreciated as much as they should have been. In 1897 Mahler was given the prestigious job of director of the Vienna Court Opera, a position he held for ten years in which he renewed the artistic quality and repertoire. The ten years of his leadership are still considered the brightest in the history of the Court Opera. Of Mahler’s works, unfortunately, not many remain and some were actually destroyed. His intense work as a conductor left him little time to dedicate to composing music.