La Biennale di Venezia 2021

La Biennale di Venezia 2021

Universal Music Publishing Classical goes to Venice: 8 composers for 8 works published by Ricordi and Durand Salabert Eschig, including 1 world premiere and 5 Italian premieres, for the 65th International Festival of Contemporary Music of La Biennale di Venezia (September 17th to 26th), directed by composer Lucia Ronchetti.

The Festival will take place in various historic locations in Venice and intends to highlight the Venetian musical tradition by linking it to current contemporary composition. Titled Choruses – Drammaturgie vocali, the focus of attention will be on “composing for the voice, based on the monumental choral works of the past decades to the dramaturgical explorations of the most recent vocal production” (L. Ronchetti).

The program features works both from Ricordi (Sylvano Bussotti, Francesco Filidei, Luca Francesconi, David Lang, Sergej Newski, Samir Odeh-Tamimi) and Durand Salabert Eschig (Georges Aperghis and Sivan Eldar), giving space to composers from different generations who conceive vocal composition as a means for experimentation and innovation in the contemporary age.

Starting from David Lang, the protagonist of American post-minimalism and founder of Bang On A Can, composer of the little match girl passion, the piece that won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2008. It will be performed by Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices, which recorded it for the Harmonia Mundi label, winning a Grammy Award in 2010. Then Luca Francesconi will be at the Biennale Musica 2021 with Herzstück, a work for vocal ensemble composed for the Neue Vocalsolisten to a text by Heiner Müller, the author from whom he adapted the libretto of his opera Quartett, one of the most highly acclaimed contemporary opera productions.

Representing the generation of the 1970s and 80s, Sivan Eldar, Sergej Newski, Samir Odeh-Tamimi and Francesco Filidei, with world and national premieres.

One of the most significant artistic personalities in the panorama of contemporary music, Georges Aperghiswas attracted by Adolf Wölfli’s obsessive repetitiveness and his Wölfli-Kantata will be presented for the first time in Italy, as well as the painter, director, scenographer and artist Sylvano Bussotti, who is turning 90 in October 2021, will be at the Biennale with Per 24 voci adulte o bianche, a sort of vocal happening that was also performed in a version for the theatre by Living Theatre (in 1967 in Bordeaux). Part of the cycle Cinque frammenti all’Italia, in which Bussotti “deconstructs texts by Rilke, Adorno, Braibanti, Michelangelo, D’Annunzio, Baudelaire, and Jacopone da Todi oscillating between boundless freedom and a rigorous attachment to method”.

Full program available at


Featured world premieres

20.09.2021 | SWR Vocalensemble

Francesco FilideiTutto in una volta (2020)

for double chorus
Commissioned by SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart
Publisher: Casa Ricordi


Featured Italian premieres

19.08.2021 | Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart

Sergej Newski - Die Einfachen (2020/2021)

for five singers, electronics and video
Commissioned by Musik der Jahrhunderte
Publisher: Ricordi Berlin
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20.09.2021 | SWR Vocalensemble - PMCE - Yuval Weinberg, conductor

Samir Odeh-Tamimi Timna (2018-2020)

for mixed choir, flute, viola, cello, bass and percussion
Publisher: Ricordi Berlin
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21.09.2021 | Neue Vocalsolisten - SWR Vokalensemble - Yuval Weinberg, conductor

Georges Aperghis - Wölfli Kantata (2006)

for vocal ensemble and choir
Publisher: Durand Salabert Eschig
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24.09.2021 | Ensemble Accentus - Marcus Creed, conductor

Sivan Eldar - After Arethusa (2019)

for mixed choir & electronic device
Publisher: Durand Salabert Eschig
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26.09.2021 | Neue Vocalsolisten

Luca Francesconi - Herzstück (2012)

for vocal ensemble ‘on the original text by Heiner Müller’ 
Publisher: Casa Ricordi
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Further selected performances

19.09.2021 | Theatre of Voices

David Lang - the little match girl passion (2008)

for chorus
Publisher: Ricordi New York
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24.09.2021 | Ensemble Accentus - Marcus Creed, conductor

Sylvano Bussotti - Per 24 voci bianche o adulte (1974)

from Cinque frammenti all'Italia
Publisher: Casa Ricordi