Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Jan Herlinger

Second Advisor

Jerzy Kosmala


Ernst Mahle was born in Germany, in 1929, but has lived in Brazil since 1951, where he is one of the most important composers of his generation. Besides his work as a composer, he has been developing a very important pedagogical work in Piracicaba, a city in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Influenced by the teachings of Hans Joachim Koellreutter, Mahle, together with other influential art supporters from that city, founded the Escola de Musica de Piracicaba, in 1953. Mahle believes that it is very important to teach music when children are young. He also encourages practice in musical groups from the earliest stages of development. Mahle has written a great body of compositions for many instruments, at all levels of difficulty, many of which are dedicated to his students. The viola compositions reflect the didactic work Mahle has been developing at the Escola de Musica de Piracicaba, as most part of them were written for the students. Mahle's idiomatic writing shows his knowledge of many instruments, allowing his compositions to be very attractive to the performer. Mahle has a neoclassic style and he combines in his compositions forms from European classical music (sonata/sonatina, concerto/concertino) with elements of Brazilian music such as the variety of rhythms and strong accents as well as the use of folk songs and modal scales.