Universal Edition - Blog

Lunch with Steven Isserlis

Posted on 28 April 2011

Steven IsserlisI had lunch today with the wonderful Steven Isserlis, who’s in Vienna performing the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Amongst so many other things, we talked about his gorgeous works for children audiences: Little Red Violin and Goldipegs and the three cellos, which he wrote together with Anne Dudley. I can exclusively reveal that there's another one on the way.

Steven also reminded me of the three piano pieces by his grandfather, Julius Isserlis, who lived in Vienna in the 1920s. Another gem in the UE catalogue waiting to be discovered.

Vykintas Baltakas: New catalogue of works

Posted on 26 April 2011

We've just published our new catalogue of works by Vykintas Baltakas.

Download a PDF file of the catalogue here

Wolfgang Rihm: New catalogue of works

Posted on 26 April 2011

We've just published our new catalogue of works by Wolfgang Rihm.

Download a PDF file of the catalogue here

Wolfgang Rihm on the radio: Das Rot

Posted on 26 April 2011

Wolfgang RihmOn the radio tonight, a recording from the recent Klavierfestival Ruhr, with tenor Taylan Memioglu and Dan Deutsch at the piano.

Hear Wolfgang Rihm’s song cycle, Das Rot, to poems by Karoline von Günderrode, in a concert also including Henze and Schumann. 20:03 (Paris time) on WDR3.

Read more at the WDR website.

Italian Critics’ Prize for Traiettorie

Posted on 18 April 2011

TraiettorieThe Traiettorie Festival for new music in Parma has just won the Franco Abbiati Prize of the Italian Music Critics Association for the best musical initiative in 2010.

Congratulations to all at the Fondazione Prometeo and thank you for all your hard work for new music.

Find them on Facebook and Twitter.

UE at the BBC Proms 2011

Posted on 15 April 2011

BBC PromsThe BBC has just released the programme for the Proms 2011 Festival, and once again there’s lots of UE to be seen and heard.

We’re there already at the First Night of the Proms on 15 July with Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, right through to the Last Night of the Proms on 10 September, with Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin.

Amongst the other works performed are:

Bartók’s Piano Concertos 1 and 2 (Proms 15 and 43)
Richard Rodney Bennett’s Jazz Calendar with the London Sinfonietta
(Proms Saturday Matinee 1)
Alban Berg: Der Wein (Prom 19)
Harrison Birtwistle: Narration: A Description of the Passing of a Year
(Proms Saturday Matinee 3)
Braunfels: Fantastic Appearances of a Theme of Hector Berlioz (Prom 68)
Kodály: Dances of Galánta (Prom 15)
Kodály: Háry János (Prom 65)
Wolfgang Rihm: Gesungene Zeit (Prom 69)
Steve Reich: Clapping Music (Prom 36)
Webern: Passacaglia, Op. 1 (Prom 62)

and lots of Mahler:
Symphony No. 9
(Prom 14)
Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection' (Prom 29)
Das klagende Lied (original version) (Prom 32)
Blumine and Symphony No. 1 in D major (Prom 63)

The full Proms programme is on the BBC website.

Vykintas Baltakas conducting Redditio

Posted on 15 April 2011

Vykintas BaltakasThe musician’s perspective.

Here’s a video of Vykintas Baltakas conducting Redditio, his latest work for ensemble, which was premièred at the Transit Festival 2010 by Champ d’Action.

Watch on YouTube.

Baltakas’ own blog is here.

Pierre-Yve Macé on Berio’s Sinfonia

Posted on 14 April 2011

Luciano BerioSomething for our French-speaking readers:

As part of their autour d’une œuvre series, the ensemble intercontemporain has published Pierre-Yve Macé’s essay on Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia.

See also his article on Berio’s Recital for Cathy (with video).

Ensemble intercontemporain next performs UE works at its Scène ouverte concert on 28 April, including Kagel’s Ludwig van, Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke and Boulez’ Domaines.

Haas’ 3rd String Quartet in Milan

Posted on 13 April 2011

Sentieri SelvaggiCommunication in the dark

The Ensemble Sentiere Selvaggi performs Georg Friedrich Haas’ 3rd String Quartet, In iij. Noct., tonight at the Teatro Elfo Puccini in Milan.

The work is performed in complete darkness, preferably with all doors and even the emergency lighting covered up. It is at first a very disconcerting thing, simply because we very rarely experience total darkness.

What might seem like a gimmick though has a dramatic effect on the musician’s performance – playing as they are required to do from memory and communicating purely through the music itself – as well as on our perception of the music.

An Italian Little Vixen

Posted on 12 April 2011

La piccola volpe astuta“La piccola volpe astuta”

Jonathan Dove’s chamber version of the Cunning Little Vixen opens in Rome tonight at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

Marco Angius conducts with Damiana Mizzi and Ivo Yordanov in the lead roles.

Read our introduction to the work.

Musikmesse 2011 Live Blog

Posted on 03 April 2011

Musikmesse 2011UE is at the Musikmesse, the world’s largest music exhibition, from this Wednesday to Saturday.

Come and see us in Hall 3.1, Stand C42.

We’ll be posting updates on this page during the week, as well as on Twitter.

Day three at the Frankfurt Music Fair, and we’ve already had visitors from Sweden, Italy, China and Germany at the stand. Come and see us in Hall 3.1.

10:30 Here are a few of the things our retailers have been impressed with:

Mike Cornick’s Play the Piano.
New editions in our Study Score Series, for example Birtwistle’s Silbury Air.
World Music Tango Duets for violin or for cello.
New Podgornov Piano Albums.
New Mahler conductors’ scores and study scores, and our new edition of piano arrangements.
New Kurt Weill editions, like the Songs for Saxophone Quartet or for Cello.

... and lots of gems hidden in the catalogue that we sometimes forget!

12:30 Andreas Kolb, chief editor of the Neue Musikzeitung, talks to Mike Cornick about his new piano tutor for adults, Play the Piano.

Mike Cornick and Andreas Kolb

13:00 Lunch break


13:30 Here's UE Director Stefan Ragg with his guest from the People’s Music Publishing House in China.

Stefan Ragg with guest from China

16:00 There’s continued and intensive interest in the facsimile edition of Boulez’ Tombeau. It’s interesting to see people stop and look and then ask what it is …


(these gents gave us permission to use their photo)

18:00 The end of day 3 at the Musikmesse. That’s all for today. The fair is open to the general public tomorrow, so come along and see us in Hall 3.1 C42. And remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

That’s all from the live blog this week!


Day two, and the stand is already full of guests. Looking forward to lots of meetings with our retail partners from all over the world.

11:00 UE receives the Best Edition Prize for our facsimile edition of Pierre Boulez' Tombeau, produced together with the Sacher Foundation.

Best Edition for Boulez

12:00 founder John Thirkell joins us at the UE stand. We distribute a range of play along editions on the PureSolo platform. Register, download and record your own version of our world music titles, and many many more.  

John Thirkell

15:00 Composer Mike Cornick has just joined us at the UE stand. We’ve just released his new book Play the Piano, a step-by-step guide for beginners and “returning beginners”.

Mike Cornick

18:00 The end of another busy day here at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. Back tomorrow.

The doors are open! Everything is ready, and we're enjoying the calm before the storm.


09:30 ... and it doesn't last long. Our colleagues are already talking to customers, and we have the best coffee at the Musikmesse.

10:30 Carolin Jetter and Wolfgang Meyer-Johanning from join our colleague Albert Fassbender at the UE stand.

12:30 There's a lot of interest in our video presentations. A curious juxtaposition of Gustav Mahler interviews and Richard Filz demonstrating vocal percussion. That's UE.


16:00 UE composer Vykintas Baltakas was at the NMZ stand here in Frankfurt for an interview, available soon at

Vykintas Baltakas

17:00 Here's Vykintas with our managing director Astrid Koblanck at the UE stand

Vykintas Baltakas & Astrid Koblanck

18:00 And that's all for today. It was busy at the UE stand. Come and see us here in Frankfurt until Saturday this week.


Elena Denisova on Zemlinsky’s Serenade

Posted on 01 April 2011

Elena Denisova (c) vogusOn 20 March, violinist Elena Denisova gave the world première of Alexander Zemlinsky's Serenade in the new arrangement by Franz Hummel.

We spoke to Denisova and Hummel during rehearsals.

World première 20 March 2011, Musikverein Vienna
Wiener Concert-Verein conducted by Alexei Kornienko.

Watch the video on Vimeo

Kevin Spacey to play Pierre Boulez

Posted on 01 April 2011

Pierre BoulezWe've just heard from Paul Griffiths about a fascinating new film about the music of the 20th century.

Read the full details here.

Arts Council England makes widespread budget cuts

Posted on 31 März 2011

Arts Council EnglandYesterday, the Arts Council of England announced wide-ranging cuts to the institutions it supports, as expected and required by the new UK government austerity measures.

Many of our closest friends have been affected. Some have got off relatively lightly; others will have to deal with huge shortfalls. Please see the various comments from the BCMG, the London Sinfonietta, Opera North, the Royal Opera House, The Opera Group, and Sound and Music for more details.

When asked recently about similar cuts in the Netherlands, Wolfgang Rihm answered:

“It is always astonishing to hear that of all people it is the conservative politicians who above all destroy cultural value. You would think that a Conservative would want to preserve something … When something is gone, it’s gone.”

Robert Tear “absorbing” in Lulu 1979

Posted on 31 März 2011

Lulu in the Observer 1979Here’s a brief postscript to the many obituaries for Robert Tear. I read in the Guardian and the Telegraph that he had sung in the world première of Lulu in 1979, with the new third act by Friedrich Cerha.

After a brief glance into the hallowed UE archive folders, I found the Observer’s review of the première, where Tears’ “absorbing performance” as the painter is commended.