Siemens Arts Program production wins OPUS KLASSIK for Best Concert Recording

  • Award for outstanding interpretive recording of Piano Concerto Opus 25 by Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944)
  • Accolades for soloist Annika Treutler, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stephan Frucht
  • The project aims to keep alive the memory of Viktor Ullmann in the name of the many artists expelled and murdered under the Nazi regime 
  • It also features a groundbreaking digital, multi-perspective VR media installation with immersive sound engineering as the narrative to Ullmann’s piano concerto

The Siemens Arts Program has launched an audiovisual art project in partnership with pianist Annika Treutler and media artist Alexander Stublić. The project is based on Piano Concerto Opus 25 by the composer Viktor Ullmann, who was murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. The art project features an elaborate new 3D audio recording of the concerto alongside a virtual reality media art installation. The music was recorded at the RBB 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).

In the 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.

The audiovisual art project uses cutting-edge technology in a sophisticated production that blazes a new trail in music reproduction. Through the visual, three-dimensional experience of the recording and the scope offered by 21st century technologies, the Siemens Arts Program hopes to bring Ullmann’s music and the story of his cruel fate to a wider audience, including to a younger generation. On October 18, 2020, the anniversary of Viktor Ullmann’s death, the production will be awarded the OPUS KLASSIK for its outstanding artistic quality.

Stephan Frucht says: “We’re so delighted that this project was nominated in several OPUS KLASSIK categories and that we won Best Concert Recording. It would never have been possible without a team effort. Everyone who put so much passion and innovation into the project shares this accolade, as well as the great Viktor Ullmann of course, whose work I hope to showcase on concert stages throughout the world. He has earned it.”

Annika Treutler adds: “I’m over the moon about the OPUS KLASSIK award – above all because it honors Viktor Ullmann’s music. It brings us a step closer to achieving the goal of my #respondinmusic project: to relate history through music by giving a new voice to the composers of the time. Exploring our role as musicians has never been more important than it is today. I’m grateful to the Siemens Arts Program for making it possible to take music to a new level through this recording and the art installation based on the piano concerto.”

The OPUS KLASSIK is Germany’s most prestigious classical music award. This new, independent prize is organized by Verein zur Förderung der Klassischen Musik e. V., which aims to promote classical music and especially to recognize the artists who perform it. An expert jury representing the music and media industries selects 47 winners in 25 categories. The OPUS KLASSIK 2020 awards ceremony takes place on October 18, 2020 at the Konzerthaus Berlin and will be broadcast by ZDF at 10.15 p.m.

Here you will find the press release

More information about the Viktor Ullmann project

Here you can see an excerpt from the VR installation