Universal Edition - Blog

An evening with Alfred Brendel and Mauricio Sotelo

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 November 2015

Alfred Brendel (c) Jiyan ChenOn 9 November Alfred Brendel will hold a keynote speech about Franz Liszt at the Auditorium in Arezzo.

Afterwards Mauricio Sotelo will introduce his Ancora un segreto before pianist Juan Carlos Garvayo performs the work, which is dedicated to Alfred Brendel and was inspired by conversations with the pianist about Liszt’s Sonata in B minor.

Find out more at the website of the Amici della Musica Arezzo

Boulez 90: New Dialogues at the National Sawdust

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 November 2015

National Sawdust (c) 2015 / Jazz Bank / Pascal Gallois.

None of the dreams we indulged as adolescents at Oberlin would have even entered our minds without the intrepidity and the audacity of Pierre Boulez. […] In the words of Boulez himself, “Music is a labyrinth with no beginning and no end, full of new paths to discover, where mystery remains eternal.” (Claire Chase & Joshua Rubin, ICE co-artistic directors)

Pascal Gallois (c) Pascal GalloisHonouring Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday, conductor and bassoonist Pascal Gallois and the International Contemporary Ensemble present their Boulez 90 – New Dialogues programme at the National Sawdust – a new performance venue for contemporary music in Brooklyn – on 17, 18, 19 and 21 November. A selection of Boulez’ oeuvre will be performed alongside works of his contemporaries and those of young composers.

ICE is performing together with bassoonist Pascal Gallois on this project that was recently on tour in Paris and Brittany in France. A highlight of the concert series will be performances of Le Marteau sans maître with mezzosoprano Katalin Károlyi and Éclat.

Download the full programme

Wozzeck in Chicago: “See this show.”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 November 2015

“One can't imagine a more convincing case for ‘Wozzeck’ as a masterpiece of 20th-century music theater than the highly anticipated new production that opened at Lyric on Sunday afternoon at the Civic Opera House. […] Three words for anyone unsure about whether to catch Lyric’s ‘Wozzeck’: See this show.” (John von Rhein, The Chicago Tribune, 2 November 2015)

The Chicago Tribune on the Lyric Opera’s production of Wozzeck.

Read the full review on The Chicago Tribune

Georg Friedrich Haas at the NOW! Prismen festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 November 2015

NOW! Prismen festival

Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto grosso No. 2 will see its German première at this year’s NOW! Prismen festival, which opened on 22 October and runs until 8 November. Peter Rundel conducts the Essener Philharmoniker and the Ensemble Musikfabrik at the German première on 5 November and the follow-up-performance on 6 November.

On the day after, Haas’ Sayaka for percussion and accordion will be played by Jaime Moraya and Slavi Grigorov.

The composer will also be present at the NOW! Prismen Symposium, where he’ll be in conversation with Robert Henke, Rozalie Hirs, Mauro Lanza and host Günter Steinke.

Read the festival’s full programme on the website of the Philharmonie Essen

Alban Berg monument to be erected in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 November 2015

Modell der Alban Berg Skulptur © Markus Pillhofer

Next spring Wolf D. Prix’ Alban Berg monument will be erected at the Herbert-von-Karajan-Platz in front of the Vienna State Opera. The monument will also honour other members of the Second Viennese School as well as Gustav Mahler.

Read the [German] press release

Georg Friedrich Haas on The Guardian

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 November 2015

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Substantia Jones

“I don’t love those high mountains […] they steal the light; they are dangerous and cold.” (Georg Friedrich Haas, The Guardian, 30 October 2015)

Preceding the world première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ newest opera Morgen und Abend, Gavin Plumley interviewed the composer about the opera, his newfound home in New York and Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang.

Morgen und Abend premières at the Royal Opera House on 13 November. Michael Boder conducts Graham Vick’s production, which stars world renowned actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, and soprano Sarah Wegener and baritone Christoph Pohl in their Royal Opera debuts.

Read the full article on The Guardian

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 Oktober 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 Oktober 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 Oktober 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 Oktober 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 Oktober 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 Oktober 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 Oktober 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 Oktober 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.