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Boulez at 90 in Aldeburgh

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 June 2015

Aldeburgh Music

The legend of Pierre Boulez as a towering icon of the avant garde precedes him, but what I want to bring to our retrospective is my overriding impression of his humanity. Pierre is a man who is passionate, loyal and very human – an outstanding leader but also modest and generous. (Pierre-Laurent Aimard)

From today until Friday, the Aldeburgh Music Festival honours Pierre Boulez with a range of performances of the composer’s works, including A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez.

Find the full programme on the website of the Aldeburgh Festival.

Earlier this year, Universal Edition interviewed Pierre-Laurent Aimard for our digital magazine MusikSalon. You can watch the interview here or read a transcript on our MusikSalon:

David Fennessy on James Joyce and sounds

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 June 2015

Happy Bloomsday everyone!

We’ve prepared a short interview with David Fennessy on James Joyce, sounds and serendipity. Watch it here:

The Continuum Ensemble presents Swept Away

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 June 2015

Swept AwayMusic in 1920s Berlin and Vienna: cool, sleek, jazzy and very modern. A generation of young composers swept away the 19th century and established a new kind of music that was bold, astringent, accessible and topical. But by 1934, denounced by the Nazi government and their music banned, they were swept away into exile leaving their work neglected and forgotten for over seventy-five years.

Ripe for rediscovery, the exciting opera, chamber, orchestral and vocal music of Ernst Toch, Kurt Weill, Erwin Schulhoff, Mischa Spoliansky, Friedrich Hollander and others of this lost generation is performed in a festival of five concerts over three days, much of it never before performed in the U.K.

Featuring outstanding singers and soloists as well as informative pre-concert talks, the Continuum Ensemble presents Swept Away, a festival that takes place at the Kings Place from 19 to 21 June.

You can find the full programme on the website of Kings Place.

Boulez’ Répons in Paris

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 June 2015

Matthias Pintscher (c) Frank FervilleThe music is crystalline in its sheer beauty and in the mysterious network of quasi-neural connections that Boulez creates between every sound and moment in the piece. But Répons also has an awesome, torrential energy, in the streams of surreally fast music that careen throughout the ensemble, and in the collective, multi-dimensional sonic spectacular that the collective acoustic and electronic ensemble can create. (Tom Service, The Guardian, 12 June 2015)

A clearly impressed Tom Service has reviewed the Matthias Pintscher’s and the Ensemble Intercontemporain’s recent performance of Répons for The Guardian.

Read the full review

Find out more about Pierre Boulez on our #Boulez90 blog.

[R]evolution: Mosell confronts Stockhausen fearlessly

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 June 2015

Vanessa Benelli Mosell: [R]evolutionMosell confronts this music fearlessly, shaping the smaller-scale pieces (the shortest, Klavierstück III, lasts just 38 seconds) as elegantly as she can, taking their technical challenges in her stride and above all conveying the sense of cutting-edge invention and innovation that is so characteristic of Stockhausen’s early music. (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 10 June 2015)

High praise from Andrew Clements of The Guardian for Vanessa Benelli Mosell’s album [R]evolution.

The recording features eight piano pieces by Karlheinz Stockhausen and was published earlier this month by Decca.

Read the full review

Baltakas to teach composition in Maastricht

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 June 2015

Vykintas Baltakas (c) Astrid Ackermann

Congratulations to Vykintas Baltakas, who has taken up an offer by the Maastricht Academy of Music to teach composition, starting in September.

Krenek’s Symphonic Elegy for Webern

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 June 2015

Ernst Krenek (c) PfeiferThe Zürcher Kammerorchester will perform Ernst Krenek’s Symphonic Elegy tonight under Thomas Zehetmair at the Tonhalle Zürich.

The motivation behind this composition was the tragic death of Anton Webern on 15 September 1945.

After hearing about Anton Webern’s death on 15 September 1945, Krenek processed his shock and grief in January 1946 in his American exile.

Zoltán Kodály – BBC Radio 3 composer of the week

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 June 2015

Zoltán Kodály (c) Universal EditionListeners have approximately 23 days left to listen to the five “composer of the week” episodes on Zoltán Kodály that were presented by Donald Macleod of BBC Radio 3 over the course of the last week.

Find an overview of the available episodes on BBC Radio 3.

Listen online

Marlis Petersen and Mojca Erdmann are Lulu

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 June 2015

UE Newsletter: LuluOur latest newsletter is all about Alban Berg’s Lulu. The opera currently runs in two productions at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam.

Find a making-of video and a link to a live stream of Lulu by clicking the image to the right or by using one of the links below:

View the newsletter online: German | English

Subscribe to our newsletter: German | English

Zoltán Kodály in Auckland

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 June 2015

Psalmus HungaricusConductor Sarah Bisley, the Aorangi Singers and Ensemble Polymnia present a unique all-Hungarian classical concert on 7 June at the Q Theatre in Auckland.

From the programme:

“Our final work is the incredible Psalmus Hungaricus, composed by Zoltan Kodaly in 1923 and rarely heard in the Hungarian language (as it will be tonight) outside of its native country. We are excited to have the internationally acclaimed opera and lieder singer, David Hamilton, as our tenor soloist, the well-known actor and director Raymond Hawthorne as the narrator of the poems in English and the children’s choir from Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland.”

Find out more on the website of the Q Theatre

Lulu in Amsterdam and Munich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 June 2015

Lulu (c) Bayerische Staatsoper

We’ll be sending out our latest newsletter today at 13:00 – it focuses on the current productions of Berg’s Lulu at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Gert Korentschnig of the Austrian newspaper Kurier has written an extensive [German] review of both productions – read the full article online on Kurier.

London Sinfonietta to release Clapping Music app

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 June 2015

Clapping Music, Touchpress, London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta​ has announced that it will release an app based on Steve Reich’s Clapping Music:

From the London Sinfonietta’s press release:

“We are hugely excited to announce that the London Sinfonietta will launch a gaming app in June, based on Steve Reich's Clapping Music.

Improve your rhythm by learning how to play his work through the touch of your iPhone. High scorers on the game will be auditioned to perform the piece live with the London Sinfonietta in special events.

We are working with the award-winning Touchpress and Queen Mary University of London on the project, one of 12 pioneering partnerships funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

Visit for more information.”

Danish première of Rihm’s Sextett

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 June 2015

Klang Copenhagen Avantgarde Music FestivalTonight at the Teater Republique in Kopenhagen: conductor Benjamin Schneider and the Ensemble Modern present the Danish première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Sextett for clarinet, horn and string quartet at the Klang Copenhagen Avantgarde Music Festival.

View the full score.

This concert will be followed by a performance of Pierre Boulez’ Troisième Sonate by pianist Jonas Olsson.

“Rihm in Salzburg”, episode 3

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 May 2015

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester has published part 3 of their “Rihm in Salzburg” video series, watch it on YouTube:

Beyond the score in Amsterdam

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 May 2015

Beyond the Score: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez will be performed on 2 June by Asko | Schönberg and the Slagwerk Den Haag at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.

The show was conceived by Gerard McBurney as part of Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s acclaimed Beyond the Score series, keypieces from the Boulez’ oeuvre will be performed live together with the showing of rare archival footage and new interviews with the composer and conductor.