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Korngold’s Music to Much Ado About Nothing in American Premiere at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Feb. 28, 2012

Korngold’s Music to <em>Much Ado About Nothing</em> in American Premiere at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

With a run of eight performances opening on March 29, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts presents the US premiere of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s complete incidental music to Much Ado About Nothing conducted by John Mauceri. The performance accompanies a new production of Shakespeare’s comedy, directed by Bob Francesconi and performed by members of Studio IV of the UNCSA Drama Department, and features a new edition of Korngold's score based on existing performance materials from the Burg Theater and housed in the Austrian National Archives.

Completed in 1919 at the age of 22, Korngold’s nod to the literary bard foretells, with wit and acute narrative, the cinematic language for which the composer would become famous. The work was originally commissioned for a production by the Vienna Burgtheater in 1918 and premiered two years later. From this incidental score, Korngold extrapolated two related works: a suite for chamber orchestra and a reduction for violin and piano. Korngold’s remarkable skill for creating vivid orchestration with lush and sweeping motifs is demonstrated in this original setting that is at once sharp, youthful, and exuberant; a perfect match for Shakespeare’s modern “battle of the sexes.”

UNCSA’s de Mille Theatre houses this production, which runs March 29 through April 7.

Violinist Alexander Gilman has just released a new album on the Oehms Classics label featuring Korngold's Violin Concerto. Excerpts from the new recording can be heard here. Purchase your copy at

For more information on the production at UNC, visit

More on the life and music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold can be found at

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Incidental Music to Much Ado About Nothing (1918/1919)  
original text by William Shakespeare
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