György Ligeti (1923 -   )

Was born in Hungary but later became a naturalized citizen of Austria.  His activities have taken him into almost all European countries as well as the United States.  He has been associated with the Studio for Electronic Music in Cologne and is one of the leaders of the International Courses for New Music in Darmstadt.  His early works, published in eastern Europe prior to his departure from Hungary in 1956, are mostly simple, folk-derived works.  His later works are characterized by an emphasis on color and masses of sound.  To achieve this he employs all varieties of noisemakers, as well as electronically generated sounds.  His compositions, however, have exploited all musical media, from the organ and string quartet to the symphony orchestra, as well as small and large vocal ensembles.  Among his works are "Volumina," for organ (1961-62);  "Requiem," for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra (1963-65);  and "Lux aeterna," for sixteen solo voices (1966).  In several compositions Ligeti has made critical comments about contemporary compositions.  One such composition is his "Poeme symphonique" (1962) for one hundred metronomes all operating at different speeds.