Universal Edition - Blog

ensemble mini deserves attention

ensemble mini’s Mahler deserves attention

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 November 2014

ensemble mini: Mahler 9Congratulations to ensemble mini and conductor Joolz Gale for the great review that their recent release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in Klaus Simon’s arrangement for ensemble has received. Find the full [German} review on

Feel free to view the full study score of Simon’s arrangement on Universal Edition.

Rihm weekend at the Oper Stuttgart

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 November 2014

Wolfgang Rihm (c) Oper StuttgartFrom 7 to 9 November, the Oper Stuttgart honours Wolfgang Rihm with a composer weekend during which a selection of the composer’s works will be performed – among them Gesungene Zeit, his Fetzen and the Wölfli-Lieder –andfilm screenings will take place.

After the very successful première of Jakob Lenz on 25 October (a collection of [German] reviews can be found on the blog of the Oper Stuttgart), Georg Nigl returns to the stage as Lenz on 8 November.

Watch the trailer for the production on YouTube:

Wolfgang Rihm: Jakob Lenz
chamber opera | 75'
08.11.2014, Oper Stuttgart; Georg Nigl, Lenz; Henry Waddington, Oberlin; John Graham-Hall, Kaufmann; Staatsorchester Stuttgart, cond. Franck Ollu
Further performances: 13., 17., 21.11.2014; 15.12.2014

An evening with the ensemble intercontemporain

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 November 2014

ensemble intercontemporaine (c) Luc Hossepied

On 7 November, soloists of the ensemble intercontemporain present an evening with the music of Steve Reich and Morton Feldman. The concert takes place at the Amphithéâtre of the Cité de la musique, among the works performed will be Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood, Violin Phase and Morton Feldman’s Why patterns?.

Yejin Gil plays Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 November 2014

Yejin Gil (c) Adam Berry

On 4 November Yejin Gil, artist in residence at the Impuls Festival für Neue Musik in Sachsen-Anhalt, performed a solo recital, presenting pieces by Pierre Boulez, Unsuk Chin, György Ligeti and Olivier Messiaen.

Yejin Gil (c) Adam BerryEarlier in the year, Andrew Clements of The Guardian reviewed Yejin Gil’s debut disc, which features Pierre Boulez’ Incises:

All the seeds of that iridescent score [of sur Incises] can be heard in the piano piece, wonderfully articulated by Gil; the torrents of repeated notes in its opening section are fabulously even, the writhing, decaying chords that arrive later are perfectly weighted.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 5.3.2014)

Happy 90th Birthday Bystrouška!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 November 2014

Janáček Brno Festival 2014

It’s been exactly 90 years since Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen was performed for the very first time at the Brno City Theatre on 6 November 1924.

For this occasion the Moravské zemské muzeum is hosting an exhibition that is part of the Janáček Brno Festival 2014, which celebrates the composer’s 160th birthday.

From the website of the museum:

The Cunning Little Vixen, creative commons, Tibor Kádek“The exhibition in the lobby of the Janáček Theatre will reflect the 90th anniversary of the first staging of the opera The Cunning Litte Vixen by Leoš Janáček.  One of the most performed operas of the 20th century was first presented on November 6, 1924 in Brno City Theatre in an excellent staging carried out by the artist Eduard Milén, director Ota Zítek and conductor František Neumann. The prepared exhibition will present this staging together with the genesis of the opera. On display will be period photographs and documents, copies of Milén´s costumes as well a model of the original stage, facsimile of Těsnohlídek´s manuscript of the novel, considered as lost for a long time, or illustrations by Stanislav Lolek that stood at the cradle of this music work.”

View the first act of Jirí Zahrádka’s revised score of The Cunning Little Vixen.

Find out more about the festivities on the website of the Moravian Museum.

View the festival’s trailer on YouTube:

Via Luciano Berio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 November 2014

Via Luciano Berio

News from the Centro Studi Luciano Berio:

“The CSLB announces with great happiness that a street has been named after Luciano Berio in a new Milan development being built in what used to be the Fiera area, called City Life. Via Luciano Berio is in a pedestrian area in the heart of the new neighborhood, and it flows into a piazza named after Elsa Morante. An analogous street which will also flow into Piazza Morante will be dedicated to Italo Calvino. This musical and literary “crossing” was proposed by Filippo del Corno, Culture Minister of the City of Milan, and described to the press: “A writer and a composer who both had a special relationship with the city of Milan are remembered for their innovative view towards the future, and concern for the development of the city”; for the complete article click here.

Via Berio and Piazza Morante will be inaugurated on Saturday, November 8th at 11:30 am, with a program including remarks by city officials and Talia Pecker Berio; the participation of students and teachers from the Conservatory of Milan, who will perform a selection of Duets by Luciano Berio along the new street; and a reading by Carlo Cecchi of few pages by Elsa Morante in the piazza.”

Find out more on Berio on the website of the Centro Studi Luciano Berio.

King’s College celebrates Birtwistle’s 80th year

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 November 2014

Harrison Birtwistle (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschThe King’s College Cambridge celebrates Harrison Birtwistle’s 80th year with the three-day festival ‘Secret Theatres: the music of Harrison Birtwistle’. Celebrations start with an interview between Harrison Birtwistle and Richard Causten on 6 November.

Among the works performed during the event will be the UE-works Secret Theatre, Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum, Silbury Air and Birtwistle’s arrangements of Guillaume de Machaut’s Hoquetus David and Ut Heremita Solus, played by acknowledged performers such as the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the Arditti Quartet.

The full programme is available on the website of the King’s College.

Find an interview with composer and lecturer Richard Causton, who is running the three-day festival on

★★★★★ Wozzeck: from poignancy to utter devastation

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 November 2014

“If the evening began poignantly, it ended, as a powerful performance of Berg’s opera must, in utter devastation.”

Find Kate Molleson’s review of a “compelling, beautiful and powerfully claustrophobic” semi-staged performance of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck at City Halls Glasgow on The Guardian.

Have a look at our study score.

Alban Berg: Wozzeck (c) Universal Edition


Wolfgang Rihm awarded the Robert Schumann Prize

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 November 2014

Wolfgang Rihm (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

On 6 November, Wolfgang Rihm will receive the Robert Schumann Prize at the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. The prize is awarded every two years and was first received by Pierre Boulez on 1 December 2012.

Find out more on the website of the Academy of Sciences and Literature.

Ian Wilson’s Scoring History in Dublin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 November 2014

Ian Wilson: Scoring HistoryIan Wilson’s series Scoring History featuring the Vanbrugh Quartet takes audiences on a journey through 200 years of the string quartet canon. Focused on four individual themes – Folk, Distant Lands, Conflict and Solitudes – each of the four concerts is devised to “connect with some of the most important and transformative events in human history” (Ian Wilson).

Scoring History starts on 7 November and takes place every Friday of the month. Among the works performed will be two works from the UE catalogue:

Ian Wilson: towards the Far Country
for string quartet | 30'
14.11.2014, Engineering Library of the National Concert Hall; Vanbrugh Quartet

Ian Wilson: ...wander, darkling
for string quartet | 20'
21.11.2014, Engineering Library of the National Concert Hall; Vanbrugh Quartet

Stage directions for the Austrian première of limited approximations

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 Oktober 2014

limited approximations, stage directions (c) Konzerthaus Wien

limited approximations does not tell a story. As with all my compositions, there is also no formal development or traditional formal structure. Contrasting elements alternate with one another – moments of smoothness and friction. “Pseudo-glissandi” in the pianos arrive unexpectedly at overtone chords. Apparently stable constellations of intervals begin to falter as the twelfth-tones merge. (Georg Friedrich Haas)

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Astrid AckermannThese are the Wiener Konzerthaus’ stage directions for Georg Friedrich Haas’ limited approximations, which will be performed for the first time in Austria this Sunday at Wien Modern by the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg (cond. François-Xavier Roth) and pianists Klaus Steffes-Holländer, Matan Porat, Florian Hoelscher, Julia Vogelsänger, Akiko Okabe and Christoph Grund.

A discussion between Wolfgang Schaufler and the composer will precede the performance.

Read the full work introduction by the composer, listen to an excerpt and view the study score here.

Georg Friedrich Haas: limited approximations
for 6 micro-tonally tuned pianos and orchestra | 30'
national prem. 02.11.2014, Konzerthaus, Vienna; Klaus Steffes-Holländer, Matan Porat, Florian Hoelscher, Julia Vogelsänger, Akiko Okabe, Christoph Grund, pno; SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, cond. François-Xavier Roth

Arvo Pärt on Tintinnabuli

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 Oktober 2014

Arvo Pärt plays the piano and talks about Für Alina and Tintinnabuli (the video is in German):


Focal points Wien Modern 2014: Georg Friedrich Haas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 Oktober 2014

Georg Friedrich Haas, Wien Modern (c) Substantia Jones

Only one more day until the opening concert of Wien Modern 2014 featuring Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto grosso No. 2 takes place. Cornelius Meister will conduct the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Klangforum Wien at the Konzerthaus Vienna.

As Wien Modern puts it, “the opening concert will mark the start of a musical journey that will, through the course of the entire festival, take audiences to new sound experiments and beyond” – we are thrilled!

View the full study score of the concerto grosso No. 2.

You’ll find out more about Wien Modern 2014 focal point composer Georg Friedrich Haas in our upcoming newsletter, which is currently in the making – stay tuned.

“One of the great operatic achievements of our time” turns 20: The Second Mrs Kong

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 Oktober 2014

It’s been 20 years since Harrison Birtwistle’s 2-act opera The Second Mrs Kong was performed for the very first time on 24 October 1994 in Glyndebourne.

Die zweite Mrs. Kong, Wiener Operntheater When he reviewed the opera’s production of 2004 (which was also the latest production of the work), Andrew Clements of the Guardian described the work as “one of the great operatic achievements of our time.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 11 November 2004).

Earlier, The Second Mrs Kong had received similar praise in Germany when a translated version was staged in 1996:

“eine kongeniale Vermittlung zwischen Tradition und Moderne […] Ein verspielter Geniestreich” (Reinhard J. Brembeck, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 28.02.1996)

Die zweite Mrs. Kong ist eine Perle unter den neuen Opern – hörfreundlich, amüsant, gefühlig” (Christina Osterwald, Die Rheinpfalz, 12.03.1996)

Happy Birthday Mrs Kong!

There’s also great news for another opera by Birtwistle: director Leonard Prinsloo’s and conductor Walter Kobéra’s Neue Oper Wien production of Punch and Judy has won the Arte Audience Award and the Award for Best Production. Find out more on the website of the Neue Oper Wien.

Watch the production of Punch and Judy on arte:

World première of the reduced version of Halffter’s Elegías

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 Oktober 2014

Cristóbal Halffter (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschRamón Tebar will conduct tonight’s world première of the reduced version of Cristóbal Halffter’s Elegías a la muerte de tres poetas españoles at the Auditorio Nacional de Música. Follow-up performances of the orchestral work are scheduled for on 25 and 26 October.

Cristóbal Halffter: Elegías a la muerte de tres poetas españoles
for orchestra, reduced version | 30'
24.10.2014, Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid; Orquesta Nacionales de España, cond. Ramón Tebar