Universal Edition - Blog

The IGMG celebrates its 60th anniversary

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 November 2015

IGMG (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Laila StandkeHere’s a snapshot from Friday’s festivities of the 60th anniversary of the Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft (IGMG) at the Glass Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna – the society was founded in 1955 at the suggestion of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with honorary president Bruno Walter and honorary member Alma Mahler.

The reception and a commemorative speech were followed by a book presentation and a performance by Thomas Hampson and the Wiener Virtuosen.

William Kentridge brings Lulu to the Met

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 October 2015

The Metropolitan Opera

Berg’s opera seems an indisputable candidate for the greatest opera of the 20th century. (Philip Hensher, The Guardian, 1 June 2009)

Lulu is the object of desire of all the men in the opera—but she can’t be the woman the men imagine her to be or project onto her. She can never fulfill all the desires of both being the femme fatale and the faithful, quiet wife, just as the men can never be the people that Lulu hopes they will be. And in each case, this impossibility of desire ends in disaster. (William Kentridge,, 9 October 2015)

William Kentridge’s production of Alban Berg’s Lulu with Marlis Petersen in the title role premières on 5 November at the Met. Watch scenes from the prologue of the production:

The performance on Saturday 21 November will be broadcast live in more than 2000 theatres.

Learn more

David Fennessy on his Werner Herzog-inspired piece Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 October 2015

David Fennessy

You get a piece that is always in climax. […] It’s a piece about obsession. Or maybe it is actually just obsessive. (David Fennessy, Herald Scotland, 28 October 2015)

The Herald Scotland recently interviewed David Fennessy, who will be performing his 20-minute piece Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun) at the Sonica festival in Glasgow on 7 November.

In the interview, Fennessy talks about the Werner Herzog diaries Conquest of the Useless, which inspired him for composing the piece, and his beginnings as composer.

Read the full article

Weill and Krenek at the Kurt-Weill-Fest 2016

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 October 2015


The full programme of the Kurt-Weill-Fest 2016 has been announced. The festival will be running from 26 February until 13 March under the slogan “Krenek, Weill & die Moderne”.

Among the special guests of the festival are artist-in-residence Ernst Kovacic, Nina Hagen and HK Gruber.

Vykintas Baltakas at the GAIDA festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 October 2015

Lithuanian Ensemble Network

Vykintas Baltakas’ Redditio for ensemble and Redditio 2 for woodwind quintet will be performed tonight at the 25th GAIDA festival of contemporary music at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius.

Baltakas himself will conduct the LENsemble.

View the full score of Redditio 2

Watch Rihm’s Duo Concerto online

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 October 2015

Mira Wang and Jan Vogler performed the German première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Duo Concerto together with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on 24 October at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele.

You can watch a complete recording of the concert on

Rihm: Duo Concerto (c)

Bohuslav Martinů’s Greek Passion in Essen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2015

Bohuslav Martinů’s Greek Passion is currently being performed at the Aalto-Theater in Essen. Jiří Heřman’s production of the almost frighteningly topical music drama in 4 acts can be seen on 25 and 28 October and 12 and 14 November.

Watch the trailer online:

World première of Borisova-Ollas’ ... and time is running past midnight ...

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2015

Victoria Borisova-Ollas (c) Universal Edition

Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ latest orchestral work ... and time is running past midnight ...will be premièred tonight at the Berwaldhallen in Stockholm by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Joana Carneiro.

Tickets are still available here.

Victoria Borisova-Ollas: ... and time is running past midnight ...
for orchestra | 9'
world prem. 22.10.2015, Berwaldhallen, Stockholm; Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Joana Carneiro

Eva Brigitta Smirzitz (12.5.1931–3.10.2015)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 October 2015

Eva Brigitta Smirzitz Die Universal Edition trauert um Eva Smirzitz.

Über Jahrzehnte war sie eines der prägenden Gesichter des Verlages. Sie war Vertrauensperson für viele Komponisten und in ihrer Verbindung von Leidenschaft mit hohem Sachverstand so etwas wie die Lokomotive der UE-Promotion.

Ihre nicht nachlassende Liebe zur Musik unserer Zeit zeigte sie als engagierte, stets meinungsstarke Konzertbesucherin bis zuletzt.

So werden wir sie in Erinnerung behalten.

Universal Edition mourns the loss of Eva Smirzitz.

For decades she was one of the defining faces of Universal Edition, a confidant for many composers. Through her passion and expertise she was the figurative engine of the UE promotion department.

Thanks to her unfailing love for the music of our times, she was a frequent and engaged concertgoer to the end.

This is how we will remember her.

★★★★★ for Rihm’s ET LUX

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 October 2015

ET LUX, ECM New MusicPitted against the Minguet Quartett’s contemporary sensibilities – shifting between tender supplication and confrontational toughness – the textured renaissance richness of the Huelgas Ensemble is thrown into sharply acidic relief. Atmospherically recorded, with poetically pointed notes by Paul Griffiths. (Michael Quinn, Choir & Organ, September/October 2015)

Congratulations to the Huelgas Ensemble, the Minguet Quartett and Paul Van Nevel for the 5-star review that their recording of Wolfgang Rihm’s ET LUX received in the Choir & Organ magazine. ET LUX was released by ECM New Series.

The CD includes a beautiful booklet with an introductory statement by Wolfgang Rihm and liner notes by Paul Griffiths and Wolfgang Schreiber.

Wolfgang Rihm on ET LUX [German interview with English subtitles]:

Stockhausen-Festival in Munich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 October 2015

Karleinz Stockhausen (c) Werner Scholz

musica-viva presents the five-day Stockhausen-Festival in Munich, which will be running from 21 until 25 October and featuring seven concerts with the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Among the pieces performed will be his piano pieces 1–11 (Pierre-Laurent Aimard, pno) and Zyklus (Dirk Rothbrust, perc).

Find the festival’s full programme on the website of musica viva.

Halffter awarded the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 October 2015

Cristóbal Halffter (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschOur heartfelt congratulations to Cristóbal Halffter:

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Minister of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain, has announced this year’s fourteen recipients of the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise: among the recipients is Cristóbal Halffter.

Read the press release

Nach-Ruf … ent-gleitend … in Seoul

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 October 2015

iN FestivalWhereas, in earlier works, the pitch structure was determined by altering the instruments (untuned strings of the bowed instruments in the chamber opera Nacht and in the String Quartet No. 1, retuning the piano in the improvisatory piece Nacht), microtonal intonation is left exclusively up to the players in Nach-Ruf … ent-gleitend … (Georg Friedrich Haas)

ensemble iiiiiiiii will be performing Georg Friedrich Haas’ Nach-Ruf … ent-gleitend … on 15 October at the iN festival in Seoul.

More information about the festival is available on the website of the ensemble iiiiiiiii.

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Rome

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 October 2015

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (c) Yasuko Kageyama / Teatro dell’Opera di Roma 2014-2015

Graham Vick’s production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma underlines the high topicality of Brecht’s and Weill’s work.

The opera, which stars Willard White as Dreieinigkeitsmoses and Measha Brueggergosman as Jenny Hill, will still be performed three more times this month: on 13, 15 and 17 October.

Read Cristina Iacoboni’s (Italian) review on Online Merker.

A trailer is available on YouTube:

Harrison Birtwistle awarded the Wihuri Sibelius Prize

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 October 2015

 Harrison Birtwistle (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Congratulations to Sir Harrison Birtwistle: the composer was awarded the Wihuri Foundation’s Wihuri Sibelius Prize on 9 October.

Find out more here