Süddeutscher Musikverlag Willy Müller

Süddeutscher Musikverlag has belonged to the Bärenreiter publishing group since 1988.

The company was founded by the music dealer and publisher Fritz Müller (1872–1944) in 1899 in Karlsruhe, Germany. During the second half of the 1930s, probably in 1938, Müller then moved the company, in which his son Willy Müller (1900–1985) was now working, to Heidelberg. By 1938 the name of the firm was “Willy Müller-Süddeutscher Musikverlag”. The grandson of the founder, Peter Ferdinand Michael Müller, ran the publishing house for three years after his father’s death but sold the company and its publishing archive to Bärenreiter. Bärenreiter’s owner Karl Vötterle knew Willy Müller through the youth music movement and through the musicologist Hans Joachim Moser.

In the period between 1942 and 1965, Müller worked closely with Hermann Heiß (1897–1966), who was responsible for editing music education works and music to play at home. Willy Müller took a considerable risk with the publication of teaching material by the composer Käthe Volkart-Schlager (including the Bunte Bilderbuch für junge Klavierspieler published in 1942), as the Volkart family did not conform politically and made no secret of their rejection of National Socialism.

To date, Süddeutscher Musikverlag has published over 2,800 music editions in all musical genres (early and contemporary music, educational works, school and chamber music, wind music, writings on music, orchestral and stage works). The company specialises in 20th century repertoire as well as music education literature and easier pieces suitable for domestic music-making. Around 600 editions are currently available.

Süddeutscher Musikverlag composers include Joseph Ahrens, Cesar Bresgen, Klaus Fischbach, Gerhard Frommel, Kurt Hessenberg, Karl Höller, Hans-Friedrich Micheelsen, Günter Raphael, Hermann Schroeder and Konrad Seckinger. It is not generally known that Willy Müller also signed up Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905–1963) in 1948. However, the association ended in 1954 over differences of opinion, and Hartmann went to Schott in Mainz.

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