Welcome to the new website of UMP Editio Musica Budapest

We are pleased to announce that our new website is now live. The site has been refreshed to support you even better in exploring our partners and products, and to adjust with the websites of other houses of UMP Classical.

This launch is only the start. The work will be continued to improve and develop our site so that you may always find what you are looking for.

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Hesperus by Bella in Budapest

In 2017, Máté Bella composed his work Hesperus for viola and ensemble. The work was commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporaine and premiered on 16 February 2019 on French Radio. On May 18, Péter Bársony will be the soloist of the Hungarian premiere at the Budapest Music Center, the UMZE ensemble will be conducted by Gregory Vajda. We asked the composer on the occasion of this coming performance.

What kind of compositional ideas have you realized in Hesperus?

This piece is the third one in a series: First, Chuang Tzu’s Dream was written for cello and ensemble, then came Trance for violin and ensemble, and finally, Hesperus for viola and ensemble joined them.

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New recordings of works by Farkas and Kurtág

Recent months’ releases include selections of solo and chamber works by Ferenc Farkas and his former student, György Kurtág, published by UMP Editio Musica Budapest, performed by excellent musicians.

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On the Centenary of András Szőllősy

"The third master" - his faithful monographer, János Kárpáti used this epithet on András Szőllősy who was born on February 27, 1921, a hundred years ago. He was the third beside György Ligeti and György Kurtág, who were all born in Transylvania in the 1920s, and then graduated from the Budapest Academy of Music - that is, he was the third behind his world-famous colleagues and friends.

Szőllősy’s oeuvre is thin, consisting of barely thirty compositions, mostly from the 1970s and 1980s, followed by a few “autumn flowers” until 2002. The late start of the career is explained by the fact that although Szőllősy studied composition as a student of Zoltán Kodály, he felt more like a musicologist until the mid-1960s, collecting and editing the works and writings of his great predecessors, Béla Kodály and Bartók. (his Sz-numbers are still used to identify Bartók's works).

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György Kurtág at 95

Every note he writes is essential. There is never an idea of small talk. There is never an idea of wanting to please somebody or an audience. For him, there is only the truth, the essential, that you never can lie when you make music.” – That’s how Heinz Holliger recently summed up the life and work of his friend and fellow musician György Kurtág who soon turns 95. Holliger’s short, considered statements echo Kurtág’s notoriously aphoristic musical style.

You never come too late” – said Kurtág once, referring to his slow, meticulous working method. He dates his mature composer career from 1958 when after one year stay in Paris, he returned to his Hungarian isolation behind the iron curtain being aware of his task of life, and, as he put decades later, “that outward circumstance cannot influence what is now happening to me.

This more than sixty-year-old notion is valid even today since Kurtág follows unshakably his own path. The fame of his unique musicality as a composer and as a teacher first has been revealed only for a small circle of Hungarian enthusiast. Sayings of Péter Bornemisza remained unnoticed in Darmstadt in 1968. Not so the premiere of the Messages of the Late R. V. Troussova fifteen years later in Paris, recorded under the baton of Pierre Boulez. And since then the camp of the Kurtágians has gradually grown to uncountable. Even if the centre of his output is unalterable, the musical manifestations are astoundingly varied: from aethereal to vulgar, from gentle to cruel, from menacing to grotesque. The common feature in this whole spectrum is that the gestures always communicate in a direct and unambiguous manner.

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UMP Editio Musica Budapest is constantly striving to ensure that its partners have access to its products in a way and at a standard that meets the requirements of the 21st century. As part of this, the publisher will radically transform its website, catalogue and the range of its scores published in digitized form in 2020–2021.

As the first step in this process, from December 2020 on, UMP EMB scores will appear on, the world’s greatest digital library of sheet music. Here they can be studied, and - with the exception of works distributed as rental material - they can even be performed in public. By subscribing the nkoda app, you can now access the works of György Kurtág, Péter Eötvös, Zoltán Kodály and many other Hungarian composers, which you could only get to know from printed sheet music so far.

EMB publications are available here.

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Kunst | der | Fuge - Three Hungarian composers paraphrase Bach

Bach’s The Art of Fugue has excited the general public and composers with its perfection and fragmentation for more than two hundred years. Now the Danubia Orchestra Óbuda has commissioned three Hungarian composers to express with their music what this masterpiece says to them today.

The 12 movements written by the three composers will be premiered in a kaleidoscopic arrangement, like a whole-evening collective composition, on November 20 at the Academy of Music, Budapest under the direction of Benjamin Bayl.

UPDATE: Due to the epidemic situation, the premiere has been postponed to 2021.

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Kurtág’s opera in Valencia

György Kurtág’s opera Samuel Beckett: Fin de partie comes to stage in Les Arts of Valencia on October 28. „The last masterpiece of the 20th century”, as Alex Ross labelled this masterpiece, had its premiere in La Scala in November 2018, and then the production came some months later to Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. After in 2020 two further performances (in Budapest and in London on BBC Proms) had to be postponed due to the COVID pandemic, the Spanish premier is the third station of the tour of the original cast: Frode Olsen (Hamm) Leigh Melrose (Clov), Hilary Summers (Nell), Leonardo Cortellazzi (Nagg), the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana is directed by Markus Stenz, stage direction by Pierre Audi. Further performances are expected on June 10, 2021, with the New York Philharmonic and on June 24, 2021, in Theater Dortmund.

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József Soproni at 90

His career, musician habitude, wide range of interest were basically determined by his birth in Sopron, and that he was raised at the Hungarian/Austrian region. The centuries of the historical and cultural past of Sopron and its musical life preserving valuable traditions were ideal ground for the versatile talent, moving towards the artistic profession. He was known as an exceptional organist and piano accompanist although his real dedication predestined him for composition, therefore, he pursued that major with the guidance of János Viski at the Academy of Music. His talent for pedagogy became apparent already at that time and he started his career as a teacher of the Béla Bartók Secondary School of Music in 1957. Later he continued his educational work at the Academy of Music as an appointed professor at a fairly young age of 44 years. He taught composition primarily and almost all the theoretical subjects besides that – music theory, solfége, counterpoint, methodology of music theory, score-reading. He was the rector of the Academy between 1988 and 1994.

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G. Ricordi & Co., New York sign visionary composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe to exclusive, global publishing deal

Los Angeles, September 14, 2020 — G. Ricordi & Co., New York, a Universal Music Publishing Classical company, today announced an exclusive global publishing agreement with innovative American composers and Bang on a Can co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. Under the new agreement, Gordon, Lang and Wolfe’s esteemed catalogs are now represented worldwide by Ricordi and its international partners.

This signing is the first for G. Ricordi & Co., New York, the newest member of Universal Music Publishing Group’s classical publishing operation and the first one in North America, joining its offices in Milan, Paris, Berlin, London and Budapest.

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