classical music, opera, theatre

Ligeti 100

Original date:
one interval
Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest

This is the replacement concert for the performance originally planned for 18 May, 2023, which has been cancelled. Tickets purchased for the original performance are also valid for this concert.

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of György Ligeti, one of the most exciting composers of the 20th century, a constant seeker of new paths forward. Originally from Transylvania, he studied at Budapest's Liszt Academy and, after emigrating in 1956, produced his mature work in Western Europe. Concerto Budapest and the Hungarian Radio Choir are commemorating the artist with a concert of four emblematic works of his, with the singers Sarah Defrise and Szilvia Vörös serving as the two soloists for the concert. The programme will be overseen by the clarinet player, composer and conductor Gergely Vajda, who is known as a committed interpreter of 20th century and contemporary works.

"It is my wish that nothing be named after me, but if it must, it should be the 'György Ligeti Dead End'." The artist once expressed this sentiment at the end of an interview after having confessed a few sentences earlier, "I am deeply dissatisfied with myself (…) I am constantly searching, but I can't find my own language and I always do something new." It is thanks to this constant search for a way forward that the composer's œuvre is full of exciting twists and turns. This centenary concert brings to life four stages in Ligeti's journey of discovery: works that have developed lives of their own, three of them orchestral and the fourth an oratorio. Melodien (1971), Clocks and Clouds (1972/73), San Francisco Polyphony (1973/74) and Requiem (1963-65) all represent the part of the composer's output from his years in the West, giving us the opportunity to encounter phenomena such as micropolyphony, the sound cloud, and the "meccanico" character. Sarah Defrise and Szilvia Vörös, the singers joining the Hungarian Radio Choir and Concerto Budapest, are outstanding representatives of the younger generation, while the conductor for the evening will be Gergely Vajda, music director of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, principle conductor of the Savaria Symphonic Orchestra, and also the musical director of the UMZE contemporary music ensemble.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest


  • Gergely Vajda
  • soprano
    Sarah Defrise
  • mezzo-soprano
    Szilvia Vörös
  • Hungarian Radio Choir (choirmaster: Zoltán Pad)
  • Concerto Budapest

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