Vienna lies in the east of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants, and this region is referred to as Twin City. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first (in a tie with Vancouver, Canada) for quality of life. This assessment was mirrored by the Mercer Survey in 2009 and 2010. Analytically, the city was ranked 1st globally for a culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, and 2nd globally after Boston in 2009 from 256 cities on an analysis of 162 indicators in the Innovation Cities Index on a 3-factor score covering culture, infrastructure and markets. As a city, Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is often used as a case study by urban planners. This city rates highly in popular opinion-based journalistic rankings from magazines such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, whom rated it the second best city in which to live according to their Global Livability Survey in 2011 as well as Monocle, where it is rated 8th among the "Top 25 Livable Cities" in 2010.
Gustav Mahler (German pronunciation: [ˈɡʊstaf ˈmaːlɐ]; July 7, 1860 – MAy 18, 1911) was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary. As a composer, he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era.
Born in humble circumstances, Mahler graduated from the Vienna Conservatory in 1878. He held a succession of conducting posts, culminating in his appointment in 1897 as director of the Vienna Hofoper. Mahler's œuvre is relatively small, and is confined to symphonies and songs, except for one piano quartet; most of his ten symphonies are very large-scale works. These works were often controversial when first performed, and were slow to receive critical and popular approval; an exception was the triumphant premiere of his Eighth Symphony in 1910. Mahler's immediate musical successors were the composers of the Second Viennese School, notably Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten are among later 20th-century composers who admired and were influenced by Mahler.