Wednesday, June 28, 2006

György Ligeti: 1923-2006

Today we at TLASILA HQ bid a belated adieu to one of the titans, György Ligeti.

Although not quite as cool as James Blunt, Widespread Panic, Take That, Slipknot, or the Murder Junkies, he came awfully close...

(For Artikulation alone, Cripes, he's near the tip-tippy-top of all time, right behind the Crazy Frog remix of Cecil Taylor's It Is in the Brewing Luminous... More reason to salivate over Will.I.Am's forthcoming adaptation of Le Grande Macabre!)

Big hugs from all of us, Györg. You are already missed.

(By Rat especially, who can't stop bawlin'. Frank! Get a fucking grip!)



(The maestro...)

The official obituary, from the Ligeti estate's web domain:

György Ligeti was born in Dicsőszentmárton (today Tîrnăveni) on 28 May 1923 as son of Hungarian-Jewish parents. He studied at the Klausenburg conservatory with Ferenc Farkas from 1941 to 1943, later (1945-49) at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest with Ferenc Farkas, Sándor Veress, Pál Járdányi and Lajos Bárdos. Very soon he developed the micropolyphony which later was to become one of the most significant features of his music. In his early pieces such as the a-cappella choral work Éjszaka - Reggel and his first successful work in the West, Apparitions, this style is already extremely distinctive.

In December 1956, after the Hungarian revolution, he left his home country for artistic and political reasons. During his work as a free-lancer at the West German Radio electronic studios in Cologne (1957-58) he thoroughly studied the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel and Pierre Boulez which found its musical expression in his work Artikulation (1958). Artikulation as well as the work Atmosphères for large orchestra (created in 1961) brought György Ligeti immediate recognition in the western musical scene. Long international teaching activities finally led him to the Hamburg Musikhochschule as a professor of composition (1973 to 1989).

Realising an idea that had been preoccupying his mind for quite some time, Ligeti created a first full-length stage work Le Grand Macabre (1974-77) after a fable by Michel de Ghelderode. Ligeti's complex polyrhythmic compositional technique forms the basis of the works written in the 1980s and 1990s (for example the Etudes pour piano which he began to compose in 1985, the Concerto for piano and orchestra created between 1985 and 1988, the Concerto for violin and orchestra from 1990-92 and the Sonata for viola solo from 1991-94).

Numerous prices, awards and distinctions are proofs of the high esteem accorded to the work of György Ligeti and to him as a teacher and mentor of a whole generation of composers. Apart from his membership of the Hamburg Free Academy of Arts and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, other prizes and distinctions to be mentioned vicariously are for example: member of the Order 'Pour le mérite' of Science and Art in 1974; appointment as 'Commandeur dans l'Ordre National des Arts et Lettres', Paris 1988; 'Prix de composition musicale de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco' received in 1988 as well; the Music Award of the Balzan Foundation and the Praemium Imperiale in 1991; Ernst-von-Siemens Music Award in 1993; UNESCO-IMC (International Music Council)-Music Prize, both awarded to him in 1996. In 1997 the Rumanian Academy conferred him the Honorary Membership; the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris appointed him as "Associé étranger" (Associated Foreign Member) in 1998. On 9 October 2000 György Ligeti was awarded the Sibelius Prize of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation in Helsinki, and in 2001 the Kyoto-Prize for Arts and Science for the body of his work. Ligeti was honored with the medal of the senate of the City of Hamburg on his 80th birthday, the City of Frankfurt will award him the Theodor W. Adorno-price on September 13 2003. In 2004, he has been awarded the Polar Music Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society, the ECHO KLASSIK 2004 for his lifework and the Frankfurt Music Prize 2005.

Ligeti died on 12 June 2006 in Vienna after a long illness.


world champ stephen neal said...

This great man probably died from reading this crap you call a blog. Viva Ghana!

ommyth said...

We welcome all Top Gun fans! Go Ghana!!!

Sweety Gold said...

best reply ever

ommyth said...

Needless to say, World Champ gave me a lot to work with; it was easy...

Good to see you again, SG.



isaac said...

happen to catch the Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes UBUWEB uploaded recently?

To Live and Shave in L.A. 25th Anniversary Tour: Updated Poster

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