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Turning 21 is quite the milestone birthday. On 7 September 2013, Classic FM celebrates 21 years of broadcasting - but what had the great composers achieved by this age?
Mahler was a professional conductor by the age of 20, by which time he'd already completed his first major dramatic vocal work - a cantata called The Song of Lamentation. Even before this, he'd attempted to write opera and instrumental works, but the only one to survive is a single movement from a piano quartet from around 1876, composed when he was 16. Even at the age of five, his creative impulse was ignited by the death of his two infant siblings, Karl and Rudolf prompting him to write his first juvenile piece: Polka with a funeral march as an introduction. Cheery.
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