Final Round Calendar

July 2

14h - 15h: Levels 2 to 4 

16h - 19h10: Level 5

July 3

15h - 17h15: Level 6

20h: Award Recital


All the events are open to public upon ticket acquisition
Tickets prices:

Tests - July 2 and 3
Ticket - R$30 (per day)
Student entrance - R$15

Award Recital - July 3
Ticket - R$30
Student entrance - R$15

Package: All of the tests + Award Recital
Ticket - R$50
Student entrance - R$25




The  goals of the I Piracicaba International Piano Concerto Competition (PIPCC) are to stimulate the pianistic and artistic development of students and pianists, as well as to stimulate the students to explore the piano works of the Brazilian composer Ernst Mahle (1929).





The goals of the I Piracicaba International Piano Concerto Competition (PIPCC) are to:

a.  stimulate the pianistic and artistic development of students and pianists
b.  stimulate the students to explore the piano works of the Brazilian composer Ernst Mahle (1929)

The PIPCC is unique for its educational purpose in that:

a.  all candidates will receive a comprehensive assessment from the judges with scores and constructive criticism
b.  all levels from ages 5-30 will perform a concertino/concerto in the final round
c.  candidates can choose from two versions of the competition:  100% online or in Piracicaba, Brazil.

2. Location

2.1 The PIPCC will be offered in two different versions:

Online Only: candidates will send a YouTube link for both their Preliminary and Final rounds. This version allows the candidates to submit their best work.

Piracicaba version: candidates will submit a YouTube playlist for the Preliminary round. The Final round will take place in Piracicaba, Brazil on July 1-3, 2017 at the Escola de Música de Piracicaba “Maestro Ernst Mahle”

Adress- Rua Santa Cruz 1155, Centro
Piracicaba, SP- Brasil
Zip Code- 13 419-020
Telephone: + 55 (19) 3422-2464

3. Applications

3.1 Application is open between February 1 and April 15, 2017.
3.2 The PIPCC is open to pianists of all nationalities between the ages of 5 and 30 on the date of application.
3.3 The application process consists of an online application form, along with the following supporting documents:

a) a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate or passport (PDF or jpeg)
b) a high-definition headshot of the applicant
c) the application fee
d) PDF files of the scores to be performed at the competition

3.4 The application fee is non-refundable

a) $150 for Online version
b) $100 for Piracicaba version

3.5 The application fee can be paid on the PIPCC website by credit card or PayPal
3.6 Incomplete applications and submissions after the deadline will not be considered
3.7 Contestants are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and recording expenses
3.8 Participation is prohibited for contestants who currently study with a member of the jury panel of their level

4. Rounds

4.1 In both the online and live versions, the competition is divided into two rounds: Preliminary and Final
4.2 The Preliminary Round will be online.
4.3 The candidate will submit a YouTube playlist link with the chosen works, according to the contestant level. Please read the Video Guide carefully for specifics regarding the proper recording procedures.
4.4 The deadline for submitting the YouTube link for the Preliminary Round is May 10, 2017.
4.5 The list of contestants selected for the Final Round will be released on May 30 on the PIPCC website.
4.6 The deadline for the submission of Final Round materials for the Online version is June 10, 2017.
4.7 The final round for the Piracicaba version will be hosted at the Escola de Música de Piracicaba “Maestro Ernst Mahle” on July 1 to 3, 2017. The schedule of performances will be announced during the month of June.
4.8 Contestants will perform in alphabetical order by surname. It is recommended that all contestants be in the green room fifteen minutes prior to their scheduled performance.
4.9 The contestant is responsible for providing an accompanist for the Final Round. The PIPCC will have a professional accompanist available during the competition. Contestants must indicate the need for an accompanist on the application form and pay the accompanist fee.

5. Repertoire

The PIPCC will be divided into two rounds (Preliminary and Final):

Level I- up to 8 years old

Preliminary – Online**

Up to 5 minutes

-     Two or more pieces from contrasting periods of the choice of the contestant

Final Round

Ernst Mahle- Concertino Cuco and the Donkey

Level II- up to 11 years old

Preliminary – Online**:

 Up to 10 minutes

-     A work for the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook or from the Little Preludes of J.S. Bach
-     A fast movement of a classical sonatina or sonata
-     One or two contrasting pieces chosen from the following repertoire or from similar level

a.    Album for the Young by Robert Schumann
b.    For Children (Vol I or II) byBela Bartok
c.    Melodias da Cecília, Sonatina 1972 or Músicas da Cecília by Ernst Mahle

Final Round

Ernst Mahle- Concertino Lime Tree from Patras

Level III- up to 14 years old

Preliminary Round – Online**

Up to15 minutes

-     A two-part invention or Sinfonia by J.S. Bach
-     A fast movement of a classical Sonatina or Sonata
-     A work from the romantic, modern or contemporary period

Final Round

Ernst Mahle- Concertino 1974

Level IV – up to 17 years old

Preliminary Round – Online**

Up to 20 minutes

-     A Sinfonia or a Prelude and Fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach
-     A fast movement of a classical sonata
-      A work from the romantic, modern or contemporary period

 Final round

Ernst Mahle- Northeastern Variation from the “Blindd Song”

Level V- up to 21 years old

Preliminary Round – Online**

Up to 25 minutes

-     A Prelude and Fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach
-     A fast movement of a classical sonata
-     A work from the romantic, modern or contemporary period

Final round

A concerto from the classical period (all movements)

Level VI- up to 30 years old

Preliminary Round – Online**

Up to 25 minutes

-     A Prelude and Fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach
-     A fast movement of a classical sonata
-     A work from the romantic, modern or contemporary period

Final round

A concerto from the romantic or modern period (all movements)

6. Jury

6.1 The examination committee will be formed by internationally renowned pianists, professors and maestros. The list and bio of the judges will be released on the PIPCC website
6.2 The decision of the examination committee is final and not subject to appeal.

7. Awards and Ceremony

7.1 The PIPCC will offer awards for the first, second and third place of each level
7.2 Prizes

First Prize

-     Concerto solo with orchestra on the 2017-2018 season*
-     Trophy and certificate
-     Solo recital during the 2017-2018 season **

Second Prize

-     Medal and certificate
-     Solo recital during the 2017-2018 season **

Third Prize

-     Medal and certificate
-     Solo recital during the 2017-2018 season **

*The travel expenses of the winners will not be covered by the IPPCC. The orchestras will sponsor lodging and food for the winners during the rehearsals and concert.
*The PIPCC will be responsible for the media and organization of the winners recitals. The travel and lodging expenses will be the responsibility of the winners

7.3 Special Awards

Ernst Mahle Award

The PIPCC will offer special awards for the best performers of the concertinos or solo works of the composer Ernst Mahle. The website of the PIPCC will offer downloadable PDF scores of his solo works.

Mentorship Award

In partnership with several universities and professors, the PIPCC will offer mentorship awards for the contestants make a positive impression on the evaluation committee. These awards will grant participants between two to five lessons and/or mentorship sessions with the partners of the PIPCC. The winners of the awards will be responsible for traveling and lodging during these trips. The mentorship awards may be arranged through Skype.

 7.4 Award Ceremony

The winners of the IPIPCC in both versions (online and Piracicaba) will be announced on July 3rd, 2017at 8pm (GMT-2). It is recommended that all the contestants stay in Piracicaba for the ceremony.

The Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on the PIPCC’s Facebook page.







  • Please read the rules of the PIPCC before filling out the application form;
  • Prepare the documents and scores in pdf before filling the application form;
  • After submitting your application form please pay the application fee using credit card or Paypall; Click Here to be redirected to the payment page;
  • The application will be confirmed only after the receipt of the application form, documents, score and the application fee.


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The PDFs of the editions of Ernst Mahle for the concertinos are free of charge and can be directly downloaded by clicking the links bellow.

The PIPCC committee recommends the candidates to download the Pedagogical editions of the Mahle Concertinos which will become available to download. The pedagogical edition was prepared by Dr. João Paulo Casarotti, expert on the work of Ernst Mahle , and contain important details in tempo, articulations and dynamics that Mahle's edition leave out.


Ernst Mahle Solo Works:

As Melodias da Cecilia
As Músicas da Cecilia
B47 - 12 Marchas
C12 - Desfile dos Animais
Carimbó - Jacaré 
Ponteio 1972
Sonatina 1973
Vamos Maninha


The candidates and teachers also have available the Pedagogical editions on the Ipad application Super Socre Music by Timewarpt. The app enables the pianists to read and practice with the piano reduction or orquestra accompaniment. The links will be available soon. 


(from Dr.  João Paulo Casarotti’s doctoral dissertation)

            Ernst Hans Mahle was born on January 3, 1929 in Stuttgart, Germany. His grandfather, Theodore Mahle, and his father, Ernst Mahle, were engineers and expected that Ernst Hans would follow the same profession. During his childhood, Mahle’s musical education was limited to studying recorder in group classes offered at his elementary school. Mahle later studied in the famous Ludwig Gymnasium, in Stuttgart, where he excelled in German, Latin, French, English, and also in music. When he was 10 years old, Mahle studied violin but only for a short period, due to his lack of interest and discipline.

            In 1942, the “outbreak of World War II and the subsequent bombings and other   privations led Mahle’s family to move to Austria [more precisely, to the village of Bürs, near the city of Bludenz] in the hope of finding better living conditions.”[1] During this period, most young men were obliged to go to war; however, Mahle entered factory work as a mechanical turner in 1944 in order to avoid this. The job caused some interruptions in Mahle’s high school education, but prevented him from dying in battle, like some of his friends.

            When he was seventeen years old, appalled at the destruction caused by the war, Mahle abandoned the idea of becoming an engineer and decided to become a musician. “Mahle believed that as a musician he could contribute to peace and harmony among men.”[2] Focusing on music, he decided to pursue a performance career as a pianist. In an interview by Paulo Adriano Ronqui, Mahle mentioned an important musical experience during this period. It helps explain Mahle’s choice of the piano as his instrument:

Part of the place where I lived in Austria was occupied by the French, and once a month they had great concerts and recitals. They had the best students of the Paris Conservatoire performing. That was a wonderful opportunity to contact with music, although it occurred so late […].[3]

Since Mahle begun his study of the piano “so late,” and already had quite a mature musical understanding, he practiced for long hours in order to play difficult pieces such as Chopin’s Etudes and Beethoven’s Sonatas. “The result was a serious tendonitis in both arms, forcing [Mahle] to accede to doctors’ recommendations that he cease playing the piano.”[4] Mahle decided to study music anyway. He bought a flute, a clarinet, a saxophone, and other instruments and began “to try a little bit of everything.”[5] Mahle had experimented with multiple instruments, but ultimately he decided to follow a career in music composition.

            In 1950, during his return to Stuttgart, Ernst Mahle auditioned for the composition class at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik. “Although his piano playing and sight-reading were not quite satisfactory at the audition… Mahle was accepted into the composition class of Johann Nepomuk David (1895-1977) due to the impressive improvisational skills he demonstrated on a given theme.”[6] In fact, initially Mahle was not accepted during the first audition, but he asked the director for an opportunity to show his improvisational skills, which caused his subsequent acceptance. “Although Mahle studied with David for just one year, he received a solid foundation in harmony and counterpoint.”[7]

            In 1951, Mahle’s family moved to Brazil due to his father’s co-founding of the metallurgical company Metal Leve [Light Metal] in São Paulo. Eliane Tokeshi decribes the genesis and reasons that led to Mahle’s family moving to Brazil:

Through contacts with Jewish friends who had escaped the war and were living in São Paulo, his father visited Brazil in 1949. He moved there with his family, intent on manufacturing motor parts which were only made in Europe at the time and thus difficult to obtain in Brazil during the war years. Dr. Mahle… [lent] his knowledge of car pistons and thus facilitated their manufacture in Brazil.[8]

About his arrival in Brazil, Mahle commented:

My mother, my father, two brothers and I arrived by ship bringing our grand piano and our dog… In the beginning we lived in a guesthouse until we established a house in Brooklyn. My father insisted that if I desired to study music to find a school of music in São Paulo. [9]

             Ernst Mahle initially studied at the Conservatório Dramatico e Musical de São Paulo with João Sepe, where he graduated in composition and conducting. In 1952, the Escola Livre de Música de São Paulo Pró-Arte was founded by Hans-Joachim Koellreutter (b.1915). Koellreutter was the director of the school from 1952-58 and worked “as a professor of several classes, especially Aesthetics, Composition, Harmony, Counterpoint, [and Conducting].”[10] In addition to his studies at the Conservatório Dramatico e Musical de São Paulo, Mahle studied with Koellreutter at Pró-Arte and became one of his most important students.

Koellreutter, also from Germany, had studied composition with Paul Hindemith at the Berlin Academy of Music in the early 1930s. He [had] lived in Brazil since 1938 teaching [what he had learned in Europe]. He had also introduced the new works and compositional techniques of European composers to his students, including those of Arnold Schoenberg. [In Brazil, Koellreuter became a great advisor to several generations of Brazilian composers.][11]

According to Mahle, Koellreutter “always had the gift of surrounding himself with excellent and talented students, creating a musical environment that had the spirit of innovation, especially in terms of pedagogy.”[12]  Mahle continued as Koellreutter’s student for eight years, during which

he was “introduced to new musical trends such as atonal, dodecaphonic, electronic, and concrète music.”[13] Along with his studies in composition with Koellreutter, Mahle studied flute and also worked as Krollreutter’s assistant, teaching harmony and counterpoint.

            It was in the Pró-Arte in 1952 that Mahle met his future spouse, Maria Aparecida Romero Pinto (Cidinha). Cidinha was a piano student of Maria Dirce Camargo and also became Koellreutter’s student in the choir-conducting class in São Paulo. She was from Piracicaba, a city in the state of São Paulo, situated about 100 miles northwest of the capital, São Paulo.

In one of the intervals of Koellreuter’s class, Cidinha met with the master and presented the idea of the establishment of a Pró-Arte’s school in Piracicaba. Cidinha used her influence in the Sociedade de Cultura Artística de Piracicaba, and arranged a recital with the master, Koellreutter. She expected with the recital to introduce the city of Piracicaba to Koellreuter and ‘plant the seed’ of the Pró-Arte Piracicaba. In October of 1952 Koellreuter [(flute)] and the pianist Gerardo Parente came to Piracicaba to perform the recital. After the event, in a meeting with the president of the Sociedade de Cultura Artística de Piracicaba, Dr Frederico Brieger, they arranged for the foundation of the school of music in Piracicaba, although no concrete details were decided in that meeting. [14]

Figure 1: Koellreuter’s recital was advertised in the  Jornal de Piracicaba  (October 22, 1952)

Figure 1: Koellreuter’s recital was advertised in the Jornal de Piracicaba (October 22, 1952)

In 1953, Mahle and Cidinha attended the III Curso Internacional de Férias de Teresópolis, in which they were promoted by the Pró-Arte.

During the course of a meeting with Koellreutter, Cidinha asked for more concrete plans regarding the foundation of the Pró-Arte in Piracicaba. Koellreutter asked his young student who she would recommend to be the director of the new school, and without hesitation, Cidinha recommended Ernst Mahle. Koellreutter initially was not satisfied with the choice, due to the shyness and introspective character that Mahle demonstrated. On the other hand, after some insistence by Cidinha, Koellreutter accepted the recommendation of Mahle due to his musical talent, intellectual capacity and serious nature.[15]

On March 9, 1953 Koellreutter, Mahle, Cidinha and other important personalities from Piracicaba founded the Escola de Música de Piracicaba, originally a branch of the Pró-Arte schools. In the beginning, Koellreutter supervised the pedagogical activities of the school, but after a while Mahle and Cidinha, assumed his role. In 1955, Mahle moved to Piracicaba and in the same year he married Cidinha and they managed the school together.

Figure 2:  Escola de Música de  Piracicaba (1961)

Figure 2: Escola de Música de Piracicaba (1961)

            Mahle encountered modest conditions in Piracicaba and taught many academic courses and several instruments, “many of which he taught himself, so as to teach others.”[16] In addition to these activities, Mahle assumed the position of Artistic Director and conducted the school’s choirs, the symphony, and chamber orchestras. At the same time, Cidinha served as the Executive Director, conducted the youth choir, was a piano accompanist at the school, and created a special music education program for young beginners. “The couple’s dedication followed Koellreutter’s philosophy that said: There are not bad students, only bad teachers.”[17]

            The school currently follows the same philosophy and offers academic courses, lessons for diverse instruments, stimulating group activities with choir, orchestras, as well as chamber music classes, and performance opportunities through frequent concerts. Mahle aimed to avoid, in his own words, the “negative influence of television,” which he believed diminishes children’s capabilities of reaction and interaction, “by creating a friendly environment with activities that would develop sensibility, manual skills, artistic talents, and sociability.”[18] The school offers scholarships to encourage the study of less popular instruments such as the viola, double bass, and brass instruments. In addition, all students can borrow their instruments from the school during their period of study. The music library of the school is one of the most complete libraries of Brazilian music in the country. “Mahle’s work as a pedagogue has been acclaimed as fundamental, especially in a country where the study of classical musical instruments in public school is not offered.”[19]

Figure 3: First Children’s Orchestra (1955)

Figure 3: First Children’s Orchestra (1955)

            Mahle has organized and directed a biennial national competition for young instrumentalists of all levels since 1971. The competition requires the performance of Brazilian compositions as well as a concerto and other pieces. Tokeshi believes that the competition “stands as one of the few in the country, achieving its intention of stimulating the musical and technical development of students and raising the level of instrumental teaching.”[20]

            Mahle’s works were directly influenced by these competitions, because he composed some pieces especially for them. He perceived a lack of Brazilian repertoire for certain instruments at particularly difficulty levels and used the competition to spread his works. His students and the ensembles at the school also influenced his compositional output, because he would compose and arrange music based on the need for specific instruments and ensembles that had difficulty finding repertoire and arrangements. Mahle employed national and international folk melodies, “since [he believed that] it would be more familiar to the children and was thought to be an important part of their general education, contributing to a cultural identity.”[21] Mahle discovered Brazilian folk melodies from his wife and from printed collections, such as the Guia Prático by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

            Mahle’s arrangements were mostly based on folk themes and on melodies created by his daughter, Cecilia. Between the ages of two and six, she created more than 1,300 melodies “most with Brazilian character and resembling children’s round-game songs,”[22] that were annotated and arranged by Mahle, transforming them into a series of pedagogical books for various instruments, edited by Ricordi and later by the Grafica da Unimep. Cecilia was a very talented child, who sang melodies that represented her childhood. She became blind at the age of four, due to brain cancer, and died at the age of fifteen.


Figure 4: Cecilia Mahle (1958- 1973)

Figure 4: Cecilia Mahle (1958- 1973)

Figure 5: Cecilia Mahle’s Recital Hall (1974)

Figure 5: Cecilia Mahle’s Recital Hall (1974)

            Mahle won his first composition award in 1961. He considered pedagogical activities to be his professional priority until 1968, the year that “represented a turning point in his career since, to his surprise, he began to view himself as a composer, his works having reached a level that he considered valuable.”[23] Mahle received other important composition awards, including those of the Composition Competition for String Orchestra (1976) with the work Suite Nordestina, the Composition Competition for Choir Arrangements (1982) with the Carimbó, and the Concurso Funarte (1983) with his Divertimento Hexagonal, among others.

            Mahle’s output consists of more than 250 compositions, for many instruments and in a large number of genres, including solo and chamber pieces, concertos and symphonies, small vocal works, cantatas, masses, three operas, and three ballets. He made use of his experience teaching instruments in his compositions. If he knew students frequently struggled with certain areas on an instrument he would compose the pieces accordingly. He was known to experiment by playing the pieces on the instruments himself while he composed.

            Mahle’s output has gained critical recognition and has been performed and recorded in Brazil and in other countries. A member of the Brazilian Academy of Music, since 1983 he has been the Vice President of the Brazilian Society of Contemporary Music. He occupies an important position in Brazil as composer, conductor, and pedagogue and is considered to be “more Brazilian than many other Brazilians.”[24] The Brazilian pianist and professor Paulo Affonso de Moura Ferreira pointed out:

Mahle’s music through several decades of uninterrupted production has kept as a musical language two primary characteristics rare in music: his works offer pleasure for interpreters due to the fact that they are adequate for the instruments or voices used. Another characteristic is that the public also enjoys his works, because his music has a human and true content, exempted of the artificiality or concerns with ‘modernity at all costs.’[25]

 The composer Osvaldo Lacerda emphasized the nationalistic character of Ernst Mahle:

Besides the intense activity that Mahle carries on, as a conductor and director of one of the best musical institutions in Brazil, he is also an inspired and prolific composer. His solid technique makes possible a perfect command of all the elements of the musical composition: rhythm, melody, harmony, structure and timbre. What mostly impresses me in his works is the nationalistic character of them that revels in the love that Mahle has for his adopted country.[26]

                 Mahle feels grateful to be labeled as a Brazilian nationalistic composer. He believes that it is due to his assimilation of Brazilian folk melodies, and due to the fact that he reached his musical maturity in Brazil. According to Tokeshi, “it would be erroneous to overlook European influences in his idiom however, as he did spend his first twenty years in Germany and Austria.

Moreover, as with many Brazilian-born composers, Mahle had as a mentor the foreign H. Koellreutter, who was responsible for introducing in Brazil the modern European composition idioms.”[27]

            Ernst Mahle named Béla Bartók (1881-1945) as “the most influential composer in his style and described his own music as folk melodies and modal, characteristics that at first give his works an allusion of Bartókian or even Kodálian flavor.”[28] Mahle became familiar with Bartók’s music “while still in Europe during the post-war period, when it began to be more well-known, and recalls listening to the German premiere of the Second Violin Concerto performed by Tibor Varga. In Brazil, Mahle made use of what he called Bartók’s ‘seasoning’ the elaborate use of modes and folk material, such as is found in works such as Mikrokosmos and For Children.[29] Mahle used these works as models, believing that they were important for their “utilization of folk music, gathered pedagogical intentions to preserve the national identity, coupled with a more modern language.”[30]

Tokeshi offers a summary of the European influences and the beginning of nationalism in Brazilin the context of Ernst Mahle:

In the twentieth century, the musical panorama in Brazil encountered two contradictory schools, one representing tradition through the predominance of an already established nationalism, and the other offering innovation through the search for new expressive resources with the employment of modern European techniques. Mahle arrived soon after the occurrence of several major incidents within this controversy, and these events, together with Brazil’s musical tendencies thereafter, have affected his aesthetic inclinations and the development of his idiom, as he had incursion into twelve-tone music and later turned to a nationalistic style.[31]

 In fact, the “two contradictory schools” described by Tokeshi were the Música Viva group, founded by Koellreutter in 1939, and the group led by Mozart Camargo Guarnieri (1907-1993). As mentioned before, Koellreutter was responsible for introducing the twelve-tone system and atonality in Brazil. On the other hand, Guarnieri developed the modernism and folk music of Villa-Lobos. The Musica Viva group attracted several young composers as members since its foundation including: Aldo Parisot, Cláudio Santoro, Guerra Peixe, Eunice Katunda, and others. Against this avant-garde movement, Guarnieri published his Carta aberta aos Músicos e Críticos do Brasil (Open Letter to the Musicians and Critics of Brazil) in 1950, which stated:

Our country possesses a musical folklore that is one of the world’s richest… Dodecaphonism seeks to achieve the destruction of the particularly national characteristics of our music by disseminating among our youth the ‘theory’ of laboratory music.[32]

         Koellreutter responded publicly to Guarnieri’s Open Letter:

Dodecaphonism is not a style, nor an aesthetic tendency, but the employment of a compositional technique created for the structuring of atonalism… Therefore the concept that Dodecaphonism “attributes predominant value to form or deprives music of its essential elements of communication; that it wrenches the emotional content from it,” is erroneous… Ardent nationalism…condemns only by the aggravation of passions that produce disruptive forces and separate humanity.[33]

                 The constant conflicts between the two groups in form of letters and public manifestations contributed to the dissolution of the Música Viva group. Its members abandoned twelve-tone techniques and returned to a nationalist style. “The nationalist composers also suffered consequences while this controversy lasted, viewing themselves as restricted from expanding their compositional style to other aesthetics of contemporary music, since it might suggest to others a deviation from nationalism.”[34]

            Mahle had no public participation in these groups, since he arrived in Brazil after this controversial period of Brazilian music history. However, as a student of Koellreutter, he supported his teacher and his avant-garde techniques, which is reflected in his compositions.

            According to Mahle, Koellreutter utilized a nonorthodox dodecaphonism and taught the twelve-tone technique, allowing a certain amount of flexibility in its usage. In fact, Mahle demonstrates the same tendency in works such as Peças Modais for four-hands (1955) where he does not follow the order of the twelve-tone row and becomes more expressive. While Koellreuter’s student, Mahle experimented with composing electronic music. He acquired equipment and constructed a studio in the School of Music, although he soon lost interest, considering this idiom “to be less important, especially in a country like Brazil that lacked the infrastructure for such technology at the time.”[35]

            Contact with Brazilian folk melodies and their explicit or stylized use in arrangements and compositions during the first years of the School of Music led Mahle to distance himself gradually from the avant-garde style and assume a national one. “Among works based on Brazilian folkloric materials are Carimbó (1982), from the state of Pará; Jangada de Iemanjá (1996) for eight double basses; and Suite Nordestina (1976) and Sinfonia Nordestina (1990), the latter two based on melodies collected and gathered by Mario de Andrade in Danças de Feitiçaria and Danças Dramáticas respectively.”[36] The “purist” approach used in the titles of Mahle’s works from the beginning of his career is not present in these last works, whose titles present “descriptive qualities often indicating a folk music inspiration or musical regionalism.”[37] In his operas and vocal works, Mahle always keeps the titles of the texts, which are from important nationalist Brazilian poets such as Mario de Andrade, Cecília Meireles, Manuel Bandeira, Vinícius de Moraes, and Jaime Ovalle, among others. Mahle often transcribes vocal works to instrumental music, preserving the title and musical ideas. This can be seen with the following compositions: 8 Ponteios para piano: Ponteio (1972), Dança em Volta do Fogo (1980), Berimbau, Trem de Ferro, Os Sapos, Couro de Boi, and As Máscaras (1998). Mahle transcribed these works for piano, due to the extreme difficulty of the original version for choir, and consequently few performances.

            Mahle is currently considered by many to be one of the most important composers in Brazil. His activities as a pedagogue, conductor, and Music Director of the Escola de Música de Piracicaba required hours of hard work and a great amount of financial support. In fact, since 1955, when he and Cidinha married and he moved to Piracicaba, he and his family have been financially supporting the school. The Escola de Música de Piracicaba is a private non-profit institution. All funds that the school earns are used for the maintenance of ensembles, and for scholarships for poor students of the community.

            In 1998, Mahle and Cidinha, with the continuation of the institution in mind, decided to incorporate the school into the Instituto Educacional Piracicabano (IEP), the institute that owns the Colégio Piracicabano (one of the oldest private schools of São Paulo State) and Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba (the fourth largest private university in Brazil). With the incorporation, the IEP maintains the School of Music, which changed its name to Escola de Música de Piracicaba “Maestro Ernst Mahle” (1998) in homage to Ernst Mahle.

Figure 6: Almir de Souza Maia, President of the  Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba  and Ernst Mahle in the ceremony of incorporation (1998)

Figure 6: Almir de Souza Maia, President of the Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba and Ernst Mahle in the ceremony of incorporation (1998)

 Ernst and Cidinha Mahle served as the Artistic Director and Administrative Director respectively of the Escola de Música de Piracicaba “Maestro Ernst Mahle” in addition to their work regarding ensembles and teaching until 2003, when the school completed its 50th year Anniversary. Between 2003 and 2005, the Mahle conducted the Concert Choir and the Orquestra Filharmõnic da Escola de Música de Piracicaba “Maestro Ernst Mahle.” From 2005 to 2013, Ernst and Cidinha Mahle were not as integrally involved with the school. They left the responsibility of the school to the Methodist University, because they disagreed with the new directors of the school during this time. Ernst Mahle said that, “They [the directors of the school] were conducting the activities in the exact opposite way we had intended.”[38] In 2013, the new directors of the school with the president of UNIMEP approached Ernst and Cidinha, requesting that they come back to the school and assist them. It was only at the end of 2014 that they agreed and went back to the school.

Today, Ernst and Cidinha are engaged with the association that they formed to help spread his works, “Associação Amigos de Ernst Mahle” created in 2010. This association was created in part by former students of the couple and important cultural personalities in the city of Piracicaba. They are also currently involved with reorganizing the children’s orchestras and the string orchestras of the Escola de Música de Piracicaba “Maestro Ernst Mahle.” These ensembles suffered greatly in their absence and the numbers of students involved diminished significantly. They have expressed their hope for the longevity of the school and the continuing dynamic and effective work that forms bright students and an appreciative public.


Figure 7: Ernst and Cidinha Mahle

Figure 7: Ernst and Cidinha Mahle

Figure 8:  Escola de Musica de Piracicaba "Ernst Mahle" (2005)

Figure 8: Escola de Musica de Piracicaba "Ernst Mahle" (2005)


[1] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 4.
[2] Casarotti, Ernst Mahle: 50 Anos de Brasil, 5.
[3] Ronqui, Levantamento e Abordagens Técnico-Interpretativas do Repertório para Solo Trompete Escrito por Compositores Paulistas, 4.
[4] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 5.
[5] Ronqui, Levantamento e Abordagens Técnico-Interpretativas do Repertório para Solo Trompete Escrito por Compositores Paulistas, 4.
[6] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 5.
[7] Casarotti. Ernst Mahle: 50 Anos de Brasil, 6..
[8] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 6.
[9] Krausz, “Em conversa: Ernst Mahle,” 12.
[10] Kater, Música Viva e H.J. Koellreuter: Movimentos em Direção à Modernidade, 194.
[11] Lloyd, The Viola Compositions of Ernst Mahle, 6.
[12] Ernst Mahle, interview by Luis S. Krausz in the Revista Concerto (January/February 1999), 13.
[13] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 7.
[14] Casarotti, Questionnaire addressed to Ernst Mahle and Maria Aparecida Mahle (Parts I, II and III), 7.
[15] Casarotti, Questionnaire addressed to Maria Aparecida Mahle, 5.
[16] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 8.
[17] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 8.
[18] Arzolla, Uma abordagem Analítico-Interpretativa do Concerto 1990 para Contrabaixo e Orquestra de Ernst Mahle, 23.
[19] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 9.
[20] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 9.
[21] Casarotti.Ernst Mahle: 50 Anos de Brasil, 12.
[22] Arzolla, Uma abordagem Analítico-Interpretativa do Concerto 1990 para Contrabaixo e Orquestra de Ernst Mahle, 24.
[23]Casarotti, Questionnaire addressed to Ernst Mahle, 3.
[24] Osvaldo Lacerda, in the foreword of Ernst Mahle: Catalogo de Obras, 59.
[25] Mahle, Catálogo de Obras, IV.
[26] Ibid, V.
[27] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 12.
[28] Ibid, 12.
[29] Casarotti, Questionnaire addressed to Ernst Mahle, 3.
[30] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 12.
[31] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 13.
[32] M. Camargo Guarnieri, quoted from Neves, Musica Contemporânea, 122-123.
[33] H.J. Koellreutter, quoted from Neves, Musica Contemporânea, 126.
[34] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 18.
[35] Ibid, 20.
[36] Arzolla, Uma abordagem Analítico-Interpretativa do Concerto 1990 para Contrabaixo e Orquestra de Ernst Mahle, 35.
[37] Tokeshi, Ernst Mahle: Violin Sonatas and Sonatinas, 20.
[38] Casarotti. Questionnaire addressed to Ernst Mahle (Part I and II).
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