A project team drawn from all across the Siemens Arts Program, joined by pianist Annika Treutler and media artist Alexander Stublić, have made it their mission to champion the music of the ostracized composer Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944).
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.Annika Treutler, in tribute to the composer
The project is based on Viktor Ullman's Piano Concerto, Opus 25. The art project now created features a technically sophisticated new 3D audio recording of the piano concerto heard alongside a virtual reality media art installation. The music was recorded at the RBB (Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting) concert studio in Berlin in partnership with the Deutschlandfunk Kultur radio network, and performed by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephan Frucht, artistic director of the Siemens Arts Program. The recording was honored with the OPUS Klassik award in the category "Best Concert Recording".
In his media art installation, artist Alexander Stublić brings together genre-transcending audio and video recordings made during the 3D musical production to create dreamlike scenes, some with motifs from places where Viktor Ullmann worked and composed.
In his music, Ullmann developed a very distinctive language with its own unique tonality, and thus straddles the genres of classical and new music. The project group hopes to see the composer's music in future gain a level of appreciation equal to that enjoyed by revered colleagues of his era who didn't suffer persecution.
The VR media art installation „Innerland“
The virtual reality (VR) installation of the media artist Alexander Stublić is based on the thoughts and ideas behind an homage to a little known composer who was ostracized and persecuted by the National Socialists. The work by Stublić, entitled „Innerland“, is simultaneously inspired by the abstract film movement of the 1920s and 1930s whose influences are still felt today, and which at the time also projected the progressive imagery of a modernity in which Viktor Ullmann created his musical works. Yet, two elements of his media installation inject whole new dimensions:
Virtual reality scenes combined with immersive sound technology, and interactive participation. He thereby creates explorable surreal worlds in which synesthetic notes materialize, beam forests pass by, and concert stages complete with a deconstructed orchestra reassemble to form new perspectives before the viewers' eyes.
Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) is an Austrian composer, conductor and pianist.
Owing to his parents' Jewish heritage, Ullmann was deported in 1942 to the Theresienstadt concentration camp where he composed a large share of his works. It was there that he wrote his chamber opera The Emperor of Atlantis or the Disobedience of Death and the melodrama The Manner of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke. Ullmann was murdered on October 18, 1944 in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp shortly after being transported there.