Universal Edition - Blog

David Sawer in New York

Posted on 12 January 2012

David SawerDavid Sawer is in New York, where he is presenting his ballet Rumpelstiltskin at the 2012 Congress of the International Society for the Performing Arts.

Together with Stephen Newbould from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, David is participating in the “Pitch New Works Now” session of the conference.

Fingers crossed for the first US performance of Rumpelstiltskin, a work that the Times called “a tour de force of mostly ominous effects and gradually mounting frenzy”.


I was a little unclear in this post. The work was not itself performed, but presented to the delegates of the congress. Our crossed fingers refer to the hope that one of the delegates was so overwhelmed as to plan a new production of the ballet.

Apologies for any confusion.

Mahagonny at the Israeli Opera

Posted on 10 January 2012

Mahagonny Israeli Opera

Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny opens in a new production at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv this Thursday.

Watch conductor David Stern and director Omri Nitzan talking about the work and the production.

Watch on YouTube

Christmas Radio

Posted on 23 December 2011

Before we disappear amongst the Christmas wrapping, here are a few tips for your listening pleasure over the holidays.

Pierre Boulez’ Notations are on Radio SWR2 tonight (Friday) at 8pm German time.

David Sawer’s Stramm Gedichte will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 tomorrow (Saturday) at 9:45pm London time.

Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat is sung by the NDR choir tomorrow (Saturday 24th) at 7pm German time on Radio NDR Kultur.

Once the new year kicks off, listen to the Arditti Quartet performing Vykintas Baltakas’ string quartet b(ell tree) on SWR2 on Wednesday 4th January at 11pm German time.

French speakers might like to listen to France Culture’s Villes Mondes Vienne episode, which was first broadcast on 13th November and contains an interview with Friedrich Cerha.

Merry Christmas!

Things people send us

Posted on 20 December 2011 (comments: 1)

The orchestras that perform our music are made up of very creative people, sometimes in more ways than one.

Here’s a brief look at some of the curious things people send us when sending performance material back to us.

Watch on Vimeo

Szymanowski 2nd String Quartet

Posted on 15 December 2011

Minetti Quartett

The Minetti Quartet performs Szymanowski’s 2nd String Quartet at the Musikverein in Vienna tonight.

Halffter in Vienna

Posted on 13 December 2011

Cristóbal Halffter and Wolfgang Haendeler

Cristóbal Halffter was in Vienna this week to talk about his forthcoming opera Die Schachnovelle (The Chess Story).

Pictured are Halffter and the opera’s librettist, Wolfgang Haendeler.

Die Schachnovelle, based on Stefan Zweig’s novel of the same name, opens at the Kiel Opera in May 2013.

Schreker: Der ferne Klang in Bonn

Posted on 07 December 2011

Schreker: Der ferne Klang (Theater Bonn)

Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang opens at the Bonn Theatre this Sunday in a new production by Klaus Wiese. It’s his second Schreker production in Bonn, following on from Irrelohe in 2010.

Read our article on Schreker by Christopher Hailey: Discovering a Distant Sound, and watch our video interview with Ingo Metzmacher talking about Schreker's music.

Play the Piano! Book 2 by Mike Cornick

Posted on 02 December 2011

Play the Piano! Book 2Book 2 of Play the Piano! – Mike Cornick’s piano tutor “for beginners and returning beginners” – is now available.

The reactions to Book 1 were extremely positive:

“The book goes to the top of the pile of piano tutorials currently available for the older beginner …excellent!”
(Michael McMillan, Pianist Magazine 2011)

There are some sample pages below. Visit the product page to listen to audio samples and download additional free performances pieces.

It’s a great book, perfect for adults who've always wanted to play the piano. Book 1 is here.

See all our sheet music editions by Mike Cornick here. German language editions of both books are also available under the title Piano Coach.

Sample pages. Click to view in fullscreen mode

The Umbrella Man

Posted on 22 November 2011

The Umbrella Man

The peaceful beauty of Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel underlines the narrative of this short film by Errol Morris, now available on the New York Times website.

In The Umbrella Man, Morris talks to Josiah “Tink” Thompson, the author of the book “Six seconds in Dallas”, about the assassination of John F. Kennedy 48 years ago today.

Who was the Umbrella Man?

Update 24.11.11: To play the video, you need to click on the image above, then click on the almost invisible 'Play' button in the bottom left of the image on the New York Times website, and then once again once the video has loaded ...

Berio Stage Works Symposium in Paris

Posted on 17 November 2011

CdmcLuciano Berio’s Stage Works:
Opera and La Vera Storia

The Centre de documentation de la musique contemporaine in Paris is hosting a two-day symposium on Luciano Berio and his stage works.

Read more on the Cdmc website.

Visit also the Centro Studi Luciano Berio.

Luke Bedford’s Outblaze The Sky in Seattle

Posted on 15 November 2011

Luke BedfordThis week, Oliver Knussen conducts Luke Bedford’s Outblaze The Sky with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (17 and 19 Nov).

In an interview for the Seattle Times, Knussen says:

“[Bedford] writes music that is at the same time highly abstract in structure and very poetic in sound and resonance. ‘Outblaze the Sky’ is a short piece which is, in effect, a single big crescendo. He writes beautifully for orchestra, and the harmonic world is beautiful and distinctive. And it’s practical and relatively easy to put together!”

Read the full interview at the Seattle Times.

More on Outblaze The Sky, including an audio excerpt.

David Fennessy on BBC Radio 3 this afternoon

Posted on 14 November 2011

Pass the SpoonDavid Fennessy is on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme this afternoon talking about Pass the Spoon, his “sort-of opera about cookery” created with visual artist David Shrigley.

Listen live online at around 6pm London time today (Monday 14th).

Pass the Spoon opens at the Tramway in Glasgow on Thursday 17th November.

As the website says:

What can we say about Pass the Spoon?

Well …

It’s a show with actors, music and food.
It’s a bit like an opera, but with vegetables and fruit.
It’s about cooking.

It’s possibly the only show you’ll see this year featuring a dung beetle.

Oh and someone gets eaten. Did we mention that?

There’s also coverage in the Guardian, the Observer and Scotland on Sunday.

Prestigious Awards for the Kurt Weill Edition

Posted on 11 November 2011

Kurt Weill EditionThe most recent volume in the Kurt Weill Edition, Music with Solo Violin, has received two 2011 Paul Revere Awards from the Music Publishers Association of America.

The Critical Report won First Prize for Book Design in Educational Folios and the score won Second Prize for Full Score Music Notesetting.

Read more about the new edition on the Kurt Weill Foundation website and follow them on Facebook.

Performances around the world

Posted on 08 November 2011

Luciano for everWhile the Wien Modern festival is raging here in Vienna, here’s a quick look at some other performances around the world this week.

Cornelius Cardew: Autumn 60 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester

Luciano Berio: Linea for 2 pianos, vibraphone and marimba, performed by musikFabrik in Cologne.

Morton Feldman: Rothko Chapel at the esplanade in Singapore

Alexander Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg continues at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, together with Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (see videos)

Julian Yu: Philopentatonia at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo

You can see a full list of all forthcoming performances in our calendar.

Tonight at Wien Modern: Burt, Staud, Cerha, Birtwistle

Posted on 03 November 2011

Wien ModernThe RSO Vienna performs under Johannes Kalitzke tonight at the Wien Modern festival.

The first half of the concert consists of orchestral miniatures, including excerpts of Francis Burt’s Morgana, Johannes Maria Staud’s ‘Eck’ from his work Polygon and Friedrich Cerha’s Momente.

After the interval, Harrison Birtwistle’s 30-minute The Triumph of Time will be performed.

The concert is broadcast on ORF Radio 1 on Friday 4 November at 19:30 Vienna time.