Universal Edition - Blog

The Zurich Opera receives a music magazine award for Wozzeck

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 April 2017

Wozzeck, Opernhaus Zürich, DVDSingers who normally do this role have bigger voices than I have. But then I decided that it’s a role that doesn’t match any voice perfectly. Some parts are so low that they should be sung by a bass-baritone, others so high that they should be sung by a tenoral baritone. I thought, if Zurich Opera really wants me then they know my abilities, and they will match their ambitions with them. (Christian Gerhaher on Wozzeck)

This grotesque is more real than reality. (Susanne Kübler, Die Welt, 15.09.2015)

A success that gets under your skin. (, 14.09.2015)

Congratulations to the Opernhaus Zürich and the whole team behind their critically acclaimed production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck for receiving a BBC Music Magazine Award. The production features Christian Gerhaher in the title role.

View an excerpt of the DVD here:

Croatian première of Dérive 2

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 April 2017

Ensemble intercontemporain (c) Luc Hossepied

Pierre Boulez (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschPierre Boulez dedicated Dérive 2 to his fellow composer Elliott Carter. The composer on Dérive 2: “When I reflected on some of Ligeti’s compositions, I felt the desire to dedicate myself to some almost theoretical research into periodicity in order to systematically examine its overlays, its shifts and its exchange.”

The work will have its Croatian première on 23 April at the Zagreb Youth Theatre. David Fulmer conducts the Ensemble intercontemporain.

View the full study score

Hans Schneider’s musizieraktionen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 April 2017

musizieraktionenFresh from the printing press: Hans Schneider’s recently published book “musizieraktionen” offers a large and varied collection of techniques for composing and making and communicating music. Among the composers that are featured are UE composers Cornelius Cardew, Morton Feldman, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, György Kurtág, Mathias Spahlinger, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Hans Zender. The book contains numerous techniques for joint experimental music sessions.

Find out more

Wolfgang Rihm: two Swiss premières in Lucerne

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 April 2017

Wolfgang Rihm (c) UE

Rihm has his own sonic language, his own brilliance in his creativity, but he really does stand with both feet firmly planted in musical tradition. (Anna Prohaska)

Two Swiss premières by Wolfgang Rihm at the Lucerne Easter Festival: Mariss Jansons, sopranos Mojca Erdmann and Anna Prohaska and baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann present the Swiss première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Requiem-Strophen on 8 April. Also on the programme: Gruss-Moment 2 | in memoriam Pierre Boulez for orchestra.

View the full study score of Requiem-Strophen

The Facade Ensemble: Passio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 April 2017

 Arvo Pärt: Passio – The Facade Ensemble, Cond. Benedict Collins Rice

But it's actually looking forward, it’s for a reason, it’s a positive thing, and I think that this last page is the most stunning page of music you could ever wish to hear. (David James on Passio)

Benedict Collins Rice and The Facade Ensemble will perform Arvo Pärt’s Passio today at St Michael at the North Gate in Oxford. Further performances take place on 6, 7 and 12 April in London, Peterbourough and Ely respectively.

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The Cunning Little Vixen at La Monnaie De Munt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 März 2017

Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen is currently running at La Monnaie De Munt. You can now watch a recording of the production on ARTE Concert:

US première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto grosso No. 1

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 März 2017

hornroh (c) Muriel Steiner

The US première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto grosso No. 1 for four alphorns and orchestra (hornroh modern alphorn quartet; Los Angeles Philharmonic, cond. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla) takes place on 1 April at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

View the full score

Kremer and Grindenko rehearse Tabula Rasa

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 März 2017

Arvo Pärt, Gidon Kremer and Tatjana Grindenko  (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Arvo Pärt with Gidon Kremer, Tatjana Grindenko and the Kremerata Baltica rehearsing Tabula rasa at the Fondation Louis Vuitton – a work that Kremer and Grindenko premièred 40 years ago (on 30 September 1977) and later recorded on ECM’s homonymous seminal album.

Tabula rasa, Fratres, Passacaglia and the French première of Greater Antiphons will be performed tomorrow and the day after at the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s Hommage à Arvo Pärt.

Karol Szymanowski (06.10.1882—29.03.1937)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 März 2017


Today is the 80th anniversary of the death of Karol Szymanowski – a man whose life comprises a Polish lack of openness and Viennese bohème, Catholic strictness and the Dionysian, ecstasy and ascesis.

The latest issue of our magazine MusikSalon is dedicated to the composer.

Read the MusikSalon

Frank Martin’s Le Vin herbé premièred 75 years ago

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 März 2017

Frank Martin

The concert version of Frank Martin’s Le Vin herbé (The Magic Potion) – “A Tristan with a difference” – was premièred 75 years ago, on 28 March 1942 in Zurich.

We are happy to see the work being performed today in Bristol by the WNO.

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Jenůfa in Stockholm

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 März 2017

I would bind Jenůfa simply with the black ribbon from the long illness, suffering and laments of my daughter Olga and my little boy Vladimír. (Leoš Janáček, 1924)

With his third opera Jenůfa Leoš Janáček succeeded in making his breakthrough as an operatic composer. Since the premiere of this moving story about the fate of the sexton and her stepdaughter Jenůfa at the Brno National Theatre in 1904, it has become one of the composer’s most frequently performed works. 

Annilese Miskimmon’s critically acclaimed production is currently being performed at the Royal Swedish Opera. The production opened on 18 March, further performances take place on 25, 28 and 31 March and on 3 and 6 April.

Watch the trailer on YouTube:

The Cunning Little Vixen at La Monnaie / De Munt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 März 2017

Leoš Janáček (c) Janáček Museum Brno

Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen premières in the new production by Belgian artist and director Christophe Coppens tonight at La Monnaie / De Munt.

The young Italian-French conductor Antonello Manacorda leads the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra.

Watch the trailer here:

40 years Ensemble intercontemporain: an homage to Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 März 2017

With the Ensemble intercontemporain, Matthias Pintscher will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ensembles founding in an evening that pays homage to Pierre Boulez.

arte will broadcast the whole concert live on 18 March at 20:30. On the programme: works by Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern and Pierre Boulez.

Read the full programme

Zemlinsky’s The Birthday of the Infanta

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 März 2017

 Alexander Zemlinsky (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the death of Alexander Zemlinsky.

Mahler’s famous remark that his “time will come” was echoed by Schönberg’s assessment of Zemlinsky when he said about him in 1949: “I always firmly believed that he was a great composer and I still believe this. It is possible that his time will come sooner than we think”.

A new production of our critical edition of his one-act opera The Birthday of the Infanta will be premièred on 25 March at the Oper Graz.

Find out more

The New York Times on Kurt Weill: How Germany Finally Unearthed a National Treasure

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 März 2017

Kurt Weill Fest

Slowly but surely, Germany has played catch-up with Weill’s music – in particular through the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. The festival, which ends this year on Sunday, March 12, began as a fantasy and has since grown into a microcosm of the work Germany has done to restore the legacy of a musical hero. (Joshua Barone, The New York Times, 9 March 2017)

The New York Times has dedicated an extensive article to the 25th Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, which runs until 12 March.

Read the full article on The New York Times