If you have any questions at all, please send us a message.
We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Universal Edition - Blog

Fennessy’s Hirta Rounds in Munich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 July 2015

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangKomponist und Musiker agieren auf Augenhöhe. (Rita Argauer, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 30 June 2015)

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has published a preview for tonight’s world première of Hirta Rounds by David Fennessy at the Prinzregententheater. The piece was written for the Münchener Kammerorchester with the stipulation that it be unconducted.

Read the full preview

View the full score of Hirta Rounds:

Irish première of Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 June 2015

Tonight sees the Irish première of David Fennessy’s Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon) at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The work is part of a trilogy that was inspired by Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless.

Watch an interview with the composer:

View the full study score and listen to an audio excerpt.

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:

Serbian première of Fennessy’s PPP

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 April 2015

David Fennessy

PPP is a piece about pianos (or, the pianos in my life).
It’s a piece about tuning (or rather, being out of tune).
It’s about memory (or, more accurately, remembering).
It’s about personal connections with instruments (and the people who play them); their history (and mine) and their imperfections.

The Serbian première of David Fennessy’s PPP for ensemble and electronics will be performed tonight with the composer himself performing on electric guitar at Studio M in Novi Sad. Also on the programme: Palais de mari by Morton Feldman.

Find out more.

David Fennessy on PPP

Bedford and Fennessy shortlisted for the British Composer Awards

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 October 2014

British Composer Awards

Congratulations to Luke Bedford, David Fennessy and Harrison Birtwistle, who have all been shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer Awards.

Bedford’s shortlisted single-movement work Renewal was premièred on 22 May at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Sian Edwards conducted the London Sinfonietta.

The composer on Renewal:

“Renewal is about creating something new from the rubble of each previous section. The piece is a celebration of renewal and regrowth, written in the full knowledge of its impermanence.”

Read the full text and listen to an audio excerpt of Renewal.

Fennessy’s Hauptstimme for amplified solo viola and ensemble was first performed in Huddersfield by violist Garth Knox and the Red Note Ensemble (cond. Garry Walker).

Read a work introduction by Fennessy and listen to an audio excerpt of Hauptstimme.

Luke Bedford: Renewal
View the full score of


David Fennessy: Hauptstimme
View the full score of


Happy Birthday David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 July 2014

David Fennessy (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

I think each piece has its own individual technique but what people hear is something much deeper and profound and long lasting. It’s the thing they recognise as a composer’s voice. Of course it does manifest itself in technical things like intervals, but there’s some kind of bedrock on which your voice is built.

Happy Birthday David Fennessy!

Listen to an interview with David Fennessy on I’ll cadence when I die!


ICWID! interview with David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 July 2014

David Fennessy at the rehearsals for Hauptstimme (c) Richard Greer

Photo (c) Richard Greer

Thomas Butler of I’ll Cadence When I Die has recently invited David Fennessy to talk about the composer’s latest works, including Hauptstimme and Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon).

Listen to the full interview on ICWID!

Letter to Michael and Kanon Pokajanen at the Pipeworks Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 June 2014

Chamber Choir Ireland (c) Chamber Choir Ireland

David Fennessy’s choral work Letter to Michael will be performed together with excerpts from Arvo Pärt’s Kanon Pokajanen on Friday 20 June at this year’s Pipeworks Festival in Dublin, which starts today and runs until 27 June. Paul Hillier conducts the Chamber Choir Ireland.

The composer about the work:

A few years ago I came across an extraordinary piece of art by a woman named Emma Hauck. She was admitted to a German psychiatric ward about a hundred years ago diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whilst a patient there she produced pages and pages of text – thousands of lines in pencil which were addressed to her husband who had ceased to visit her. She simply wrote the words “Sweetheart Come” over and over again or sometimes just the word “come”. Every page is thick with overlapping text and some are so condensed as to be illegible.

I was deeply moved by these repeated pleas and feel strongly that the desperate passion that can be seen on these pages could only really be expressed with voices. I imagine a dense layering of a simple line; each voice adding to the power of the plea…

Emma Hauck


David Fennessy: Letter to Michael
for choir (16 voices) a cappella | 7'
Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen
for mixed choir a cappella
20.06.2014, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin; Chamber Choir Ireland, Paul Hillier

The Pipeworks Festival on Vimeo:

Oliver Coates releases Towards the blessed islands

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 December 2013

Oliver Coates: Towards the blessed islandsDavid Fennessy’s The room is the resonator is the first track of Oliver Coates’ recently released album Towards the blessed islands, which features eight cello pieces that were recorded in “churches, tombs, disused oil rigs and […] railway stations at night.”

Listen to a complete recording of The room is the resonator on Fluid Radio.

Oliver Coates, who performed the world première of The room is the resonator in 2009, in an interview on Towards the blessed islands.

The recording is available here.

Universal Edition Newsletter November 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2013

Newsletter Universal Edition November 2013
The latest Universal Edition newsletter, with information on world premières by David Fennessy, Wolfgang Rihm, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Alban Berg, is avaialble here.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme at the hcmf

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 October 2013

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerPhotos from another (intensive) day of rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme, showing the composer, violist Garth Knox, conductor Garry Walker, and the Red Note Ensemble. The piece for amplified solo viola and ensemble will be premièred on 16 November at the huddersfield contemporary music festival.

David Fennessy on Hauptstimme:

The notion of the individual and how he/she contributes or functions in a group setting as well as how that group can meaningfully make a collective statement has been central to a number of my works over the years – starting with graft for string quartet (2000), through to 13 Factories for ensemble (2009). Once again, it seems to be at the core of this new piece for solo viola and ensemble.

For much of the time, the solo viola is buried in a thick ensemble texture with the primary goal merely to be heard. Once it has achieved this, a more complex question emerges – what to say?

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerAlso on the programme: James Dillon's New York Triptych, the third and final instalment in a series of three-part pieces, and Bruno Mantovani's D'un rêve parti, a brief homage to the auld alliance.

Many, many thanks to Richard Greer for taking – and sending us – these photos!

Find a blog entry by John Harris, chief executive and artistic co-director of the Red Note Ensemble, in which he writes about the preparations for the ensemble’s concerts at the hcmf on the festival’s guest blog.

Happy Birthday David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 July 2013

David fennessy (c) Tanya KiangHappy Birthday David Fennessy!

UK première of David Fennessy's 5 Hofer Photographs

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 June 2013

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangThe UK première of David Fennessy’s 5 Hofer Photographs takes place tonight, 5 June 2013, at Sloan’s in Glasgow. Robert Irvine plays the five short pieces for solo cello that were inspired by the work of German photographer Evelyn Hofer.

David Fennessy: 5 Hofer Photographs
for solo violoncello | 10’
5/6/2013, Glasgow; Robert Irvine, vc

David Fennessy: Piano Trio | Music for the pauses in a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 June 2013

Here’s a short video from the ON - Neue Musik Köln on Ensemble Preasenz’ In die Nacht mit John und Morton [into the night with John and Morton]:

The video was taken on 28 November 2012 at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Köln and features an excerpt of David Fennessy’s excellent Piano Trio | Music for the pauses in a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman.

Among the pieces performed on this evening, which focused on the friendship between Cage and Feldman, were also Feldman’s For John Cage, Steffen Krebber’s Konfusion IV and John Cage’s Imaginary landscape No. 1.

New Music Dublin: Bedford, Fennessy, and Staud

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 May 2013

Tonight at 21:00 CET/CEST: RTÉ lyric fm broadcasts Bedford’s Chiaroscuro, Fennessy’s Piano Trio and Staud’s Für Bálint András Varga. The concert was performed by the Fidelio Trio and recorded on Saturday 2 March during the three-day New Music Dublin festival.

RTÉ lyric fm offers a live stream, which you can find here.

Luke Bedford: Chiaroscuro
David Fennessy: Piano Trio
Johannes Maria Staud:
Für Bálint András Varga

Fidelio Trio
RTÉ lyric fm | Listen live
Tuesday, 28 May 2013, 21:00