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Ligeti, György
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György (Sándor) Ligeti

( Born; Tirnaveni, 28 May 1923). Austrian composer of Hungarian origin. He studied with Farkas, Veress and Járdányi at the Budapest Academy, where he began teaching in 1950. During this period he followed the prevailing Kodály-Bartók style in his works while also writing more adventurous pieces (First Quartet, 1954) that had to remain unpublished. In 1956 he left Hungary for Vienna. He worked at the electronic music studio in Cologne (1957-8) and came to international prominence with his Atmosphères (1961), which works with slowly changing orchestral clusters. This led to teaching appointments in Stockholm (from 1961), Stanford (1972) and Hamburg (from 1973). Meanwhile he developed the 'cloud' style in his Requiem (1965) and Lontano for orchestra (1967), while writing an absurdist diptych for vocal soloists and ensemble: Aventures (1966) and Nouvelles aventures (1966). His interests in immobile drifts and mechanical processes are seen together in his Second Quartet (1968) and Chamber Concerto (1970), while the orchestral Melodien (1971) introduced a tangle of melody. The combination of these elements, in music of highly controlled fantasy and excess, came in his surreal opera Le grand macabre (1978). His subsequent output has been diminished by ill-health, though it includes a Horn Trio (1982) in which perverse calculation is carried into Romanticism. Other later works include Monument, Selbstporträt, Bewegung, for two pianos (1976), two pieces for harpsichord (1978), two Hungarian studies for chorus (1983) and a book of piano studies (1985).

Dramatic music Aventures (1966); Nouvelles aventures (1966); Le grand macabre (1978)

Orchestral music Apparitions (1959); Atmosphères (1961); Fragment (1961); Poème symphonique, 100 metronomes (1962); Vc Conc. (1966); Lontano (1967); Ramifications, str (1969); Chamber Conc. (1970); Melodien (1971); Double Conc., fl, ob, orch (1972); San Francisco Polyphony (1974); Pf Conc. (1983)#

Choral music Requiem (1965); Lux aeterna (1966); Clocks and Clouds (1973); Drei Phantasien (1983); Magyar Etüdök [Hungarian studies] (1983)

Chamber music 2 str qts (1954, 1968); Continuum, hpd (1968); Ten pieces, wind qnt (1968); Horizont, rec (1971); Monument, Selbstporträt, Bewegung, 2 pf (1976); 3 Objekte, 2 pf (1976); Passacaglia ungherese, hpd (1978); Trio, vn, hn, pf (1982); Studies, pf (1985)

Organ music Volumina (1962); 2 studies (1967, 1969)
(c)Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK

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