Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for György Ligeti

Music History Monday: György Ligeti: An Appreciation

Eleven years ago today – on June 12, 2006 – the Hungarian-born composer György Sándor Ligeti died in Vienna. He was one of the greatest composers and teachers of the twentieth century; a man and composer who is not just a favorite of mine but something of a hero to me (and I am generally not one who suffers heroes). Ligeti (the first syllable gets the accent) was born into a Jewish Hungarian family on May 28, 1923 in Romanian Transylvania, in the village of Diciosânmărtin. When he was six the family moved to the northern Romanian city of Cluj, the second most populous city in Romania after the capitol of Bucharest. In 1940, northern Romania was annexed by Hungary and thus Cluj became part of Hungary. In 1941, at the age of 18, Ligeti entered the Cluj Conservatory. And that’s where he was when the Second World War caught up to him. Background. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire was one of the big losers of World War I. The Empire was broken up in 1918, and that half of the Empire that was the Kingdom of Hungary was further broken up in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon. This “new” Hungarian […]

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