Universal Edition - Blog

A guide to Richard Rodney Bennett’s music

Posted on 04 Juli 2012

Richard Rodney Bennett - Mines of Sulphur

In the latest instalment of his Guide to Contemporary Classical Music in the Guardian, Tom Service presents the music of Richard Rodney Bennett.

The image shows the piano reduction of Bennett’s opera Mines of Sulphur.

See also the previous articles on Harrison Birtwistle and Arvo Pärt.

Happy Birthday Leoš Janáček

Posted on 03 Juli 2012

Luke Bedford CD now available

Posted on 02 Juli 2012

Luke Bedford Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale

Now available!

Luke Bedford’s new portrait CD has just been released by col legno.

The CD, supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, contains an excellent cross-section of the composer’s output to date.

Order now at col legno

Listen to excerpts here

Listen on SoundCloud


1. Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale (2011)
for violine solo, viola solo and 15 players
Jonathan Morton (violine), Lawrence Power (viola)
The Scottish Ensemble

2. into Johannesburg:
By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold (2008)
für 18 players
Ensemble Modern, conductor: Sian Edwards

3. Chiaroscuro (2002/2005)
for violin, violoncello and piano
Fidelio Trio: Darragh Morgan (violin), Robin Michael (violoncello) and Mary Dullea (piano)

4. Man Shoots Strangers from Skyscraper (2002)
for eight players
Ensemble Modern, conductor: Franck Ollu

5. Or Voit Tout en Aventure (2005–2006)
for soprano and 16 players
Claire Booth (soprano), London Sinfonietta, conductor: Oliver Knussen

Order now at col legno

Vykintas Baltakas’ Cantio in Berlin

Posted on 02 Juli 2012

Vykintas Baltakas Cantio 2004

Vykintas Baltakas’ music theatre work Cantio will be performed at the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin in January 2013.

Cornelia Heger will direct the stage production, and the composer himself will conduct the Lithuanian Ensemble Network. The production is a cooperation between K&K Kulturmanagement & Kommunikation Berlin, Ultraschall and the Konzerthaus Berlin.

Read more on the composer’s website and download a PDF file of our brochure.

Stockhausen and Boulez 360 in New York

Posted on 29 Juni 2012

The New York Philharmonic moves into the Park Avenue Armory in New York tonight for a Philharmonic 360 concert – “Spatial Music from Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Stockhausen’s Gruppen”.

The 55,000-square-foot Thompson Drill Hall (photo) has been turned into a unique concert space, with the orchestra in three groups surrounding the audience.

Alan Gilbert, Magnus Lindberg and Matthias Pintscher conduct the New York Philharmonic.

Pierre Boulez: Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna
Mozart: Finale of Act I from Don Giovanni
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gruppen
Charles Ives: The Unanswered Question

Luke Bedford on CD

Posted on 28 Juni 2012

Luke Bedford

Luke Bedford already has his copy of the brand new col legno CD – Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale – fresh from the Ernst von Siemens Prize awards ceremony last Friday.

We will let you know as soon as it is available to order.

Mahler's 9th – 100 years old today

Posted on 26 Juni 2012

Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 9

100 years ago today, on 26 June 1912, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9 was given its world première at the Musikverein in Vienna. 

Friedrich Cerha

Posted on 22 Juni 2012

Friedrich Cerha (c) Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Manu Theobald

Friedrich Cerha. Ernst von Siemens Music Prize recipient 2012.

Happy Birthday Emilio Pomàrico

Posted on 15 Juni 2012 (Kommentare: 2)

Played by Emilio

Happy Birthday Emilio Pomàrico! (17 June)

UE says a huge thank you for 163 performances of 83 works, for 13 world premières, for the Bach, the Berg, Berio, Boulez, Burt, Cerha, Feldman, Haas, Haubenstock-Ramati, Janácek, Kurtág, Mahler, Rihm, Schönberg, Schreker, Schubert, Sotelo, Staud, Stockhausen, Szymanowski and the Webern.

And for all the concerts still to come.

10 World Premières in June

Posted on 15 Juni 2012


Johannes Maria Staud — Le Voyage


Centre Pompidou, Paris (F)

Scored for:

for actor, six-part vocal ensemble, four instruments and electronics


Ensemble Intercontemporain


Geoffroy Jourdain


Cris de Paris

Main Soloists:

Marcel Bozonnet, actor; Robin Meier, electronics



Mauricio Sotelo — Cripta – Música para Manuel de Falla


Teatro Goldoni, Firenze (I)

Scored for:

for ensemble and electronics




Mauro Ceccanti



Wolfgang Rihm — Nähe fern 4


KKL, Luzern (CH)

Scored for:

for orchestra


Luzerner SO


James Gaffigan

Franz Schubert —
3 Stücke


Richard Dünser


Radiokulturhaus, Wien (A)

Scored for:

for ensemble (chamber orchestra)


Theophil Ensemble Wien



Mauricio Sotelo — Muros...: Sarai


Badajoz (E)

Scored for:

for saxofone tenore, marimba and electronics

Main Soloists:

Javier Gonzáles Pereira, sax; Sarai Aguilera Cortés, perc


venue: Conservatorio Profesional de Música "Juan Vásquez"



Georg Friedrich Haas — "Ich suchte, aber ich fand ihn nicht."


St. Michaelskirche, München (D)

Scored for:

for ensemble




Emilio Pomàrico



David Fennessy — Little Bird Barking


Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (D)

Scored for:

for violin

Main Soloists:

Sabine Akiko Ahrendt, vln.



Luke Bedford — Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale


Cuvilliéstheater, München (D)

Scored for:

for 10 players


Ensemble Modern


Friedrich Cerha



Jay Schwartz — Zwielicht


Kathedrale, St. Gallen (CH)

Scored for:

for mixed choir, three trombones and organ


Marco Santi

Main Soloists:

Tanzkompagnie des Theaters St. Gallen


Choreographie "Zwielicht"



Wolfgang Rihm — Pater noster


Passau (D)

Scored for:

for mixed choir a cappella


Hans-Christoph Rademann


Rias Kammerchor


venue: Basilika Niederalteich

See all 475 performances of UE works this June in our Performance Database.

David Fennessy Portrait Concert in Stuttgart

Posted on 14 Juni 2012

Horch / Listen Stuttgart - click for a PDF file of the folder

This Friday, David Fennessy presents what you could call a “staged concert” (to use Heiner Goebbels’s term) at the Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. The concert starts at sunset, and the audience walks for about 10 minutes into the forest adjoining the Schloss, where in the little hut there Sabine Ahrendt will perform Little Bird Barking for violin (or as the composer writes “for violinist and forest sounds”).

“The violinist is not attempting to 'harmonise' with the forest sounds but rather seems like an alien creature transplanted from a different habitat who nevertheless attempts to add their voice to the chorus!”

The audience then returns towards the Schloss and arrives at the Scheune (barn), where Sonia Cromarty will perform The room is the resonator (for cello and electronics) followed by Rest (for violin, cello and electronics). The recorded part was created at the hut mentioned above during Fennessy’s residence at Schloss Solitude last year.

As Fennessy writes: “There is a kind of narrative running throughout the three pieces, including in a way, the walking between them. The resounding question is one of the performers’ ‘voice’, literally and metaphorically, and how it adapts to its surroundings. All three pieces contain extended vocalising from the performers which, I feel, helps to imprint their individual identity onto the performance. In all three cases, the fragile voice emerges from behind the instrumental shield.”

Click the image above for a PDF file of the brochure.

Dallapiccola’s Volo di notte in Munich

Posted on 11 Juni 2012

Luigi Dallapiccola’s 1939 one-act opera Volo di notte (Night Flight), based on the story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, comes to the Akademietheater in Munich tomorrow night.

The opera is a coproduction between the Bavarian Theatre Academy August Everding and the Munich Music Conservatoire. Tobias Peschanel conducts; stage direction is by Igor Pison; the stage design and costumes by Evelin Maria Arwek.

Our English introduction is here.

Here is some further reading (in German) from our archives (on sometimes dodgy typewriters). Click the images for PDF files.

Our “Propaganda” folder from the 1950s

Dallapiccola: Volo di Notte

Die Story – Nachtflug

Dallapiccola: Volo di Notte - Die Story

Zur Erstaufführung

Dallapiccola: Volo di Notte - Zur Erstaufführung

Luciano Berio’s Ofanim in Paris

Posted on 08 Juni 2012

Luciano Berio (photo: Eric Marinitsch)

Ensemble intercontemporain gives the French première of Luciano Berio’s Ofanim tomorrow. Susanna Mälkki conducts.

Pierre-Yves Macé introduces the work in the ensemble’s Accents online series, (in French).

New Vykintas Baltakas Website

Posted on 06 Juni 2012

Baltakas Website

Vykintas Baltakas’ new website is live.

Find information on the composer, his works, texts, photos and performances at

Follow Baltakas also on Twitter @baltakas and Posterous.

Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Posted on 01 Juni 2012

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2012This year the prestigious Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, still one of the most important musical events in Italy, reaches its 75th edition.

Two works by Béla Bartók will be staged in one evening, the ballet The miraculous Mandarin (choreography by Jo Kanamori) and the opera Bluebeard’s Castle.

On 6 June Wolfgang Rihm’s Der Maler träumt and Arnold Schönberg’s Pelleas and Melisande in the version for chamber orchestra by Cliff Colnot can be heard for the first time in Italy.