An overview of Ligeti’s sketches

Wednesday 13 June 2012, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Richard Steinitz

This talk considers the relatively new discipline of sketch-based research and, specifically, what we can learn from Ligeti’s sketches, the majority of which are now in the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basle. This remarkable collection contains material from 1939 when Ligeti was only sixteen, through to his last completed composition sixty-one years later, and displays some unusual and fascinating attributes.

Richard Steinitz will project facsimiles from Basle and other archives, and finally focus in detail on Ligeti’s sketches for the Piano Concerto (for which he made innumerable abortive attempts over six years to compose the first page) and the Horn Trio of 1982, which interrupted this creative ‘bloc’, and its surprisingly retrospective ‘models’.

Recommended listening. For those unfamiliar with either the Piano Concerto or Horn Trio it will be helpful to listen to these pieces in advance.

Richard Steinitz OBE, is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Huddersfield, where he founded and was for twenty-three years artistic director of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. His György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination, published by Faber & Faber in 2002, has been hailed as ‘Shrewd and penetrating’ (The Financial Times), ‘One of the most successful fusions of an artist’s life and art I have ever read’ (Musical Opinion), and ‘A stupendous record of Ligeti’s life and works’ (The American Record Guide). In 2004 it won an ASCAP Deems Taylor award for ‘excellence’ in the USA. More recently he has contributed to a new Boydell Press anthology, György Ligeti: of Foreign Lands and Strange Sounds, and completed a comprehensive and lavishly illustrated history of the Huddersfield Festival, Explosions in November, for the University of Huddersfield Press, both published in the autumn of 2011. 

Location: Room D/003