UE – The First 37 ½ Years

Reading time: 2 min.

One of the most remarkable documents to have fallen into my hands of late comes thanks to Frances Heinsheimer-Wainwright, daughter of the music publisher Hans Heinsheimer […] an unfinished history of Universal Editions (shortened to UE), only taken up to the death of UE’s owner and director Emil Hertzka in 1932 […] If you read German, I absolutely recommend that you purchase it upon publication. (Michael Haas, Forbidden Music)




In UE – The First 37 ½ Years former managing director of Universal Edition’s stage department Hans W. Heinsheimer describes the beginnings of the music publishing house and its rise to the leading publisher for new music under director Emil Hertzka.

It comprises “the first 37 ½ years” until the annexation of Austria in March 1938, with the last chapters in the form of drafts. Alongside Hertzka, Heinsheimer was involved in the growing success of the “UE” by proving an enormous skill for his profession (e.g. the development of new markets). He describes a time when the significance of a music publisher changed not to be solely responsible for printing and distribution but also to act as a rights administrator in view of the emerging new media.


Ernst Krenek and Hans Heinsheimer, Rolling Hills (CA), 1969 (c) Fotoarchiv Frances Heinsheimer Wainwright Ernst Krenek and Hans Heinsheimer, Rolling Hills (CA), 1969


Take a look behind the scenes of Universal Edition and the music history of the 20th century – in an illustrative manner, Heinsheimer talks about encounters and collaboration with composers such as Schönberg, Berg, Krenek, Schreker, Janáček and many others while capturing the atmosphere of that particular time.

In addition, Christopher Hailey provides information on the chronicles’ making and on Hans W. Heinsheimer himself. This book is only available in German language.

Michael Haas of Forbidden Music has published a fascinating in-depth article on the book titled Heinsheimer’s Hidden History. Read it here.


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