The Curse of the Ninth Haunted These Composers

Artist Emil Orlik's famous 1902 etching of Gustav Mahler (

Artist Emil Orlik’s famous 1902 etching of Gustav Mahler (

With Halloween approaching, let’s take a minute to explore one of classical music’s more ghoulish superstitions: The Curse of the Ninth. In a nutshell, the curse is the belief that a composer will die after completing their ninth symphony. Even though plenty of composers have written more than nine symphonies (see Haydn), the curse still looms over the music.

Let’s take a haunted stroll down memory lane and remember some victims of the classical world’s answer to the 27 Club. Full story.

James Bennett, II (WQXR) / October 17, 2016

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