Mahler - The Big Question

What am I doing in this world? Where are we going? What is love?
Often you have no answers, just questions. That is exactly what Mahler does to you. Be enchanted by his fifth symphony. It swallows you up, pulls you into the deep and thoroughly shakes you. In a symphonic trip where time and space don’t seem to exist, you leave everyday life behind and are challenged to think big. Mahler does not answer. Mahler asks the question. The big question. Allow yourself the time and space and go on a search for your big questions.

The Mahler Five
To guide you through your leap into the depths of Mahler 5 on the 25th of May, a special counsel was established: The Mahler Five. Five unique thinkers – all of them heavyweights in their field – who do not shy away from asking the big life questions. In fact, they sometimes even dare venture into formulating an answer. At the start of the evening, The Five will prepare you prior to the concert, so you can start the concert inspired. Afterwards they will dive right into the big questions together with you.

Without further ado, we proudly present … The Mahler Five!

Abdelkader Benali, Writer

More than twenty years ago, his debut novel Wedding at Sea was an immediate success. His second novel, De Langverwachte (2002) hit like a bombshell and won him the Libris Literature Prize. Born in Morocco, this son of a butcher, has since written countless books and plays and does not shy away from the camera, the stage and public opinion. He has presented various literature programs and written articles and reviews for Algemeen Dagblad, Groene Amsterdammer, Esquire, de Volkskrant and Vrij Nederland, among others. This acclaimed member of The Mahler Five will take on the big question:

Do I want to live forever?
What is eternity? What should never be lost? Is growing old really that nice? Is immortality possible?

Laura Steenbergen, Dr. Cognitive Psychology

Women’s magazine, Viva, placed her in the list of the most inspiring and ambitious women of 2018. And not without reason. Rooted in her expertise in cognitive psychology, Laura Steenbergen is on a quest to get the most out of the human potential. She received the Young Scientist Prize from the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience for her research on the influence of intestinal bacteria on physiological processes, our brains and subsequently on our behavior and on how we can use this to improve our well-being. This young mastermind of The Mahler Five will channel her cognitive abilities on the big question:

Is happiness the meaning of life?
How do you become happy? What is happening in your brain? How can you feel happy? Can you be born with luck?

René ten Bos, Thinker Laureate

This idiosyncratic philosopher, author and organizational expert, knocks over your comfortable ideas in an unruly and provocative way. In a surprisingly pleasant and accessible way, he takes you to a refreshingly new, broad and critical perspective. Among other things he is a professor of philosophy of management sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen and an honorary professor at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He does not back off from any subject, so this ‘Thinker of the Fatherland’ (Thinker Laureate) and member of The Mahler Five, won’t shy away from the big question:

Why am I not satisfied?
What drives us as humanity to always want to go further? Why are we not satisfied with what we have? We are always moving forward, but why doesn’t it feel that way? And why does it seem that this is not enough?

Vivianne Bendermacher, Influencer technology and lifestyle

Bendermacher did not become a popular and substantively informed media personality overnight. She earned her spurs as editor-in-chief of the popular science magazine Kijk (2008-2014) and women’s magazine Viva (2014-2015). In 2015, she started her own company Aim for Moon and founded Techionista, a platform for empowering women through technology. In the TV show RTL Boulevard, she is regularly invited as the authority in the field of technology and lifestyle. For this member of The Mahler Five, a large part of her skills and experience comes together in the big question:

Can my future partner be a robot?
What makes you human? When can you actually love something? Why are we looking for replacements for humans? How far does artificial intelligence go?

Jaswina Bihari-Elahi, Cultural Scientist

This Doctor of Philosophy obtained her PhD at the University of Tilburg on the subject Ethnic networks on the internet and her Master of Arts at Erasmus University Rotterdam by researching the influences of the Bollywood film industry in society. In addition to her teaching position at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, as a researcher she is involved in various research projects in which cultural diversity, social work, urban issues and cultural heritage come together. That makes this member of The Mahler Five the right person for the big question:

How unique am I?
Are you happier if you recognize aspects of yourself in someone else? What do you feel when you meet likeminded people? What is identity? What makes everyone want an identity? And who determines what this identity is?


The Big Question

25 may 2019

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