The Italian publishing house Casa Ricordi counts among its large catalogue works by such legendary composers as Verdi, Puccini and Rossini, modern classics as Nono, Grisey and Varèse and contemporary composers as Francesconi and Battistelli.
Ricordi Berlin is the German branch of Casa Ricordi. The roster includes Meyerbeer, Zemlinsky, Haas, Klaus Huber, Neuwirth and Poppe.
Ricordi London, the British branch of Casa Ricordi, publishes composers such as Fujikura, Fitkin, Phibbs and Adam Schoenberg.
The story of Casa Ricordi is inseparable from the history of the last two centuries of Italian music, and in particular, Italian opera, with composers such as Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi.
Founded in Milan in 1808 by Giovanni Ricordi, a Leipzig-trained music publisher, Ricordi formed a close connection with Teatro alla Scala in 1814 when he was engaged to copy all of the theatre’s performance materials. In 1825, Ricordi purchased the entire music library of La Scala, which formed the basis of its business of supplying materials to the leading opera companies of the world.
Ricordi in the 19th century
In 1839, Ricordi published Oberto conte di San Bonifacio, Verdi’s first opera, thus beginning a lifetime collaboration with the world’s leading Italian opera composer. By the end of the 19th Century, under the leadership of Giovanni’s son Tito (Tito I) and his grandson, Giulio, Ricordi’s name was known throughout the musical world. With the guidance and support of Guilio Ricordi, Giacomo Puccini rose to international fame, even rivalling Verdi in the number of performances worldwide.
One hundred years after its founding and in its fourth generation as a family business, Ricordi’s catalogue had grown from a few hundred titles to more than 110,000 and was transformed into an important international enterprise with branches throughout the world. The company continued to publish Italian music for opera, concerts and recitals by signing notable early 20th-century composers Alfano, Busoni, Casella, Catalani, Falla, Ghedini, Malipiero, Montemezzi, Pizzetti, Ponchielli, Respighi, Varèse, Wolf- Ferrari, Zandonai and many others.
This commitment to contemporary music continues to this day and resulted in an extensive repertoire of late- 20th and 21st century works by Battistelli, Berio, Bussotti, Castiglioni, Corghi, Dallapiccola, Donatoni, Francesconi, Grisey, Maderna, Manzoni, Nono, Romitelli, Sciarrino, Stroppa and Vacchi.
In the 1980’s, Ricordi brought new energy and attention to the great Italian music repertoire of the past through the development of critical editions of operas by composers such as Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi, and of older music, like the editions of Andrea Gabrieli, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, and collections of Venetian music theatre works and Neapolitan music. These series, which combine the latest scholarship with beautifully-presented practical performing editions, are recognized around the world as the “gold standard” for authoritative editions of both traditional opera favorites and works worthy of revival from unmerited obscurity.
Ricordi & Co. Bühnen- und Musikverlag (Berlin), founded in 1908, is the German branch of Casa Ricordi. In the second half of the 20th century it started signing its own composers such as Heiner Goebbels, Georg Friedrich Haas, Klaus Huber, Olga Neuwirth, Younghi Pagh-Paan and Enno Poppe. Additionally Ricordi Berlin publishes critical editions of Albert Lortzing, Giovanni Simone Mayr and Giacomo Meyerbeer. Ricordi Berlin also owns the Rob. Forberg Verlag, one of the most important catalogues of Russian music with works by Prokofieff, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka and others.
G Ricordi & Co. (London) Ltd. started life in 1878 as the British branch of Casa Ricordi, and at that time owned the rights to the Italian catalogue in the UK and other countries in the former British Empire. Ricordi London’s own roster includes Dai Fujikura, Graham Fitkin, Joseph Phibbs and Adam Schoenberg. In 2015 Ricordi London took charge of the Lengnick catalogue which includes many important works of British classical music by composers such as William Alwyn, Malcolm Arnold and Alun Hoddinott.
Universal Music Publishing Classical
Since 2007 Ricordi is part of Universal Music Publishing Classical (UMPC), the European leader in classical music publishing. Other members of the publishing group are Editions Durand-Salabert-Eschig (Paris) and Editio Musica Budapest. Universal Music Publishign Classical represents more than 1.900 composers, including Béla Bartók, Claude Debussy, Pascal Dusapin, György Kurtág, Maurice Ravel.