Wolf Prize Laureate in Music 1995/6
“One of the most outstanding composers of the second half of the 20th century. While based on musical tradition, he has brought new ways, original and innovative, and created models to inspire younger generations of composers”.
Maestro Gyorgy Ligeti was born in 1923 in the present-day Tirnaveni, Romania. He studied composition under Sandor Veress and Ferenc Farkas in the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. From 1950 to 1956 he lectured there on the theory of music. From 1957 to 1958 he lived in Cologne, working in the electronic music studio of the West-deutscher Rundfunk. In 1959 he settled in Vienna and in the 1960´s he lectured regularly at the Oarmstadt courses and in the Academy of Music in Stockholm. He has directed composition courses in Bilthoven, Essen, Jyvaskyla, Tanglewood, Siena and Aix-en-Provence.
Ligeti lived principally in West Berlin from 1969 to 1973. He spent the year 1972 at the University of Stanford in California, as a composer-in-residence. Since 1973 he has been Professor of Composition at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Hamburg. He has received many artistic awards, among them; the Berliner Kunstpreis, the Beethovenpreis der Stadt Bonn, the Bachpreis der Stadt Hamburg, the Prix Maurice Ravel, Prix Honegger, Prix Prince Pierre de Monaco and Commandeur dans I´Ordre National des Arts and Lettres, France. He is a member of the Academies of Arts of Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, the Swedish Royal Academy of Music and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
His numerous compositions include works for wind quintet, string quartets, capella choirs, electronic music, organ, singers and instrumentalists, cello, harpsichord, string orchestra, concertos for piano, cello, flute, oboe and orchestra, women´s choir and orchestra, pieces for tape, for piano, for violin, the opera “Le Grand Macabre”, and many others.