Viktor Ullmann - Audiovisual project

Going Digital against oblivion

Tribute to the murdered composer Viktor Ullmann

Going Digital against oblivion - tribute to the murdered composer Viktor Ullmann

75 years ago, the composer Viktor Ullmann was murdered in Auschwitz. The Siemens Arts Program wants to keep alive the memory of Viktor Ullmann, representing numerous artists who were expelled and murdered by the National Socialists. We hope that Ullmann's music will be (re)discovered by many people all over the world. Therefore, we have started an audiovisual art project with the pianist Annika Treutler and the media artist Alexander Stublić.

"My aim is to make Ullmann’s music as highly regarded and as well-known as the work of those of his great contemporaries who were not persecuted. The work deserves it! In his music, Ullmann developed a very special language and a tonality all his own,” said Annika Treutler in tribute to the composer.

Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) is an Austrian composer, conductor and pianist. Because of the Jewish origin of his parents, Ullmann was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942, where he created a large part of his works. There he composed for example "Der Kaiser von Atlantis" and "Die Weise von Liebe und Tod". On October 18, 1944, Ullmann was killed shortly after his arrival in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

 

Stephan Frucht (artistic Director of Siemens Arts Program) says about the project: "January 27, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust remind us that remembrance can never be complete. At the same time, it is an obligation never to silence those voices that were not allowed to express themselves during their lifetime or that could no longer express themselves. This also includes many Jewish artists who were never able to fully develop their creativity because they were denied the freedom to create art. This fate of many great artists from the visual arts, who were branded "ostracized", was also shared by important musicians and composers, including Hans Krása, Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann, all of whom fell victim to the Nazi regime."

 

More information about the project will follow here in the coming weeks.

Siemens Arts Program has made a new recording of Viktor Ullmann's Piano Concerto Opus 25 (composed in 1939) together with pianist Annika Treutler. This is the first recording of the work in 3D audio format.

 

The production was realized under the direction of Stephan Frucht (Artistic Director Siemens Arts Program) with the Deutschlandfunk Kultur and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in the large broadcast hall of the RBB in Berlin. Prof. Thorsten Weigelt (Universität der Künste Berlin) and the 3D-Immersive Audio Specialist Stefan Bock (IAN Munich) were in charge of the recording.

 

The new recording - consisting of an audio CD and Blu-ray - contains not only the Piano Concerto Opus 25 but also Ullmann's Piano Sonatas No. 3 (1940) and No. 7 (1944), which Annika Treutler recorded in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin-Dahlem. The album release is on January 31, 2020 on the label "Berlin Classics" (Edel).