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Gyorgy Ligeti

Gyorgy Ligeti

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Also Known As: Died: June 12, 2006
Born: May 28, 1923 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Romania Profession:

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Gyorgy Ligeti was a Hungarian composer of avant-garde music who was best known for contributing music to the soundtracks of over two-dozens films, most notably Stanley Kubrick's 1968 space opera "2001: A Space Odyssey." Born and raised in Romania, Ligeti had an early life that was marked by personal tragedy. Despite being a gifted musician, having trained at some of the best music schools in Romania and Hungary, his education was interrupted at the height of World War II. With his region of Romania having already been annexed by Hungary, which became a member of the Axis Powers during the war, Ligeti, who was born Jewish, was sent to a forced labor camp, while his parents and brother were sent to concentration camps. When the War ended in 1945, Ligeti's mother was the only person from his family who survived the brutality of Hitler's concentration camps. Deeply traumatized but not broken, Ligeti continued his musical education at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he earned his music degree in 1949. He stayed in Hungary for the next few years, but had to flee his home country in 1956 at the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution. Ligeti then immigrated to Austria, where he would remain...

Gyorgy Ligeti was a Hungarian composer of avant-garde music who was best known for contributing music to the soundtracks of over two-dozens films, most notably Stanley Kubrick's 1968 space opera "2001: A Space Odyssey." Born and raised in Romania, Ligeti had an early life that was marked by personal tragedy. Despite being a gifted musician, having trained at some of the best music schools in Romania and Hungary, his education was interrupted at the height of World War II. With his region of Romania having already been annexed by Hungary, which became a member of the Axis Powers during the war, Ligeti, who was born Jewish, was sent to a forced labor camp, while his parents and brother were sent to concentration camps. When the War ended in 1945, Ligeti's mother was the only person from his family who survived the brutality of Hitler's concentration camps. Deeply traumatized but not broken, Ligeti continued his musical education at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he earned his music degree in 1949. He stayed in Hungary for the next few years, but had to flee his home country in 1956 at the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution. Ligeti then immigrated to Austria, where he would remain for the rest of his life. While in Austria, Ligeti was exposed to various different types of experimental music, and soon decided to radically change his approach to composition. In the late 1950s and all throughout the 1960s he composed several orchestral works that are now considered classics of the avant-garde form, most notably 1961's "Atmosphères" and 1978's "La Grand Macabre," which le later referred to as his "anti-opera." Already gaining notoriety for his complex works in the music world, LIgeti also drew the attention of the legendary film director Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was a devoted admirer of Ligeti's work and used several of his pieces for what is arguably his most famous film, "2001: A Space Odyssey." Kubrick would use Ligeti's work again in "The Shining" (1980) and "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999). Ligeti divided the remainder of his life between teaching and composing, while having been awarded just about every major classical music award during his lifetime. Upon his death in 2006 at the age of 83, obituary writers the world over had acknowledged Ligeti as one of the most important avant-garde composers of the second half of the twentieth century.

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2.
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