An Award Winning Film by Jason Starr

Purchase the DVD or Blu-Ray of
Everywhere and Forever
and the featured complete performance of Das Lied von der Erde
from the MahlerFest Store. Visit the store by clicking here

One of the films chosen for this year’s festival is in a category of its own, not simply because it is a documentary rather than a fictionalized story, but because its artistry stands alone as an unsurpassably rich film-making achievement.  “Everywhere and Forever” combines the profound beauty of Gustav Mahler’s Song of the Earth with equally profound cinematography, matching image to music, eliciting multiple dimensions of meaning.  The film speaks powerfully to our human condition as creatures toward death, fearful to be sure, but more deeply, peaceful, through our oneness with the universe.  The jury gives Jason Starr’s “Everywhere and Forever – Mahler’s Song of the Earth” the Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement.

"Of Beauty" from Everywhere and Forever - Mahler's Song of the Earth. Photo credit: Niav Conty
“Of Beauty” from Everywhere and Forever – Mahler’s Song of the Earth. Photo credit: Niav Conty

The happy days were over.  Gustav Mahler was world famous, both as conductor and as a composer. But in the summer of 1907, catastrophe struck – and resulted in one of the most significant works of music history: The Song of the Earth (Das Lied von der Erde).

Like every year, Gustav Mahler moved for the summer to his beautiful house on Lake Wörther in the south of Austria.  He had every reason to believe that this summer would be as artistically productive as years past.  After the huge 8th “Symphony of a Thousand” he planned his 9th.  But it was different.

Everywhere and Forever dramatically details the personal disasters that Mahler endured that summer and explores the musical masterpiece that emerged from these crises – for many the most personal, original and greatest work by the composer.  During his composing holiday Mahler’s five-year old daughter suddenly took ill and died.  His heart, now burdened with this loss, was then itself diagnosed with a severe defect guaranteeing an early death.  His marriage, already in a difficult phase, deteriorated under the pressure of events. Mahler’s only way forward was his art.  He created something entirely new: a “song-symphony” that was based on ancient Chinese verses.  In it he explored the existential questions that concerned him since childhood and now had a new urgency.

Thomas Hampson
Thomas Hampson

Well-known musicians, historians and philosophers explain the motifs and meaning of “The Song of the Earth”.  A performance with world-renowned Thomas Hampson, Paul Groves and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Neeme Järvi, created especially for this film, weaves in and out.  Dramatizations of the poetry depict the human fragility, finitude and Earth affirming philosophy of this masterpiece.


  • Paul Groves, Tenor
  • Thomas Hampson, Baritone
  • Neeme Järvi, Conductor
  • Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Morten Solvik
Morten Solvik


  • Peter Franklin
  • Thomas Hampson
  • Stephen Hefling
  • Catherine Keller
  • Henry-Louis de La Grange
  • Marina Mahler
  • Morten Solvik