Ligeti: modernist composer for our times

Posted on: August 20, 2015

In Monday’s (8/17) Wall Street Journal, Stuart Isacoff writes that much of György Ligeti’s music “is teeming with energy and structurally impeccable, but also eerily mysterious…. This past Sunday and Monday, pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who was Ligeti’s favorite interpreter, performed his strange and raucous Piano Concerto with the International Contemporary Ensemble, as well as a solo Ligeti work on a fascinating program … at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival…. The pianist is hard at work on a website, ‘Explore the Score,’ that currently features, among other things, an interactive performance of [Ligeti’s] ‘L’escalier du Diable,’ replete with the score, commentary, performance insights given to the pianist by the composer, excerpts from masterclasses, and reminiscences from Ligeti’s colleagues.… Why devote so much attention to Ligeti? Of all the composers who emerged from the modernist movements in the ’50s and ’60s, he is today perhaps the most respected and most performed. His imagination seems endless, his structures and compositional techniques absolutely unique.” Richard Ginell’s review in Wednesday’s (8/19) Los Angeles Times covers the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Tuesday (8/18) Hollywood Bowl performance of the score to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which includes Ligeti’s work, with a screening of the film.

Posted August 20, 2015

Pictured: The Los Angeles Philharmonic performs the score to 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Hollywood Bowl, August 18, 2015. Photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times