Skip to main content
Zeichnung eines Hahns

Publication: "I don't belong anywhere" – György Ligeti at 100

Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca (IT)

"I don't belong anywhere", György Ligeti once said in an interview, only to immediately add: "I belong to the intelligentsia and the culture of Europe". Ligeti was a composer with multiple identities: a Hungarian born to a minority in Romania, a Jew belonging to another minority within that minority, and later acquiring an Austrian passport while spending much of his time in Germany. 2023 marks the centenary of Ligeti's birth. Even after his death in 2006, his music is performed regularly. Hardly a year goes by without a scholarly conference on Ligeti. On his 100th birthday, the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini is publishing the book "I don't belong anywhere" – György Ligeti at 100, made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. The book takes stock of this composer's significance in the contemporary world: Where does he "belong" today? How have our views of his work and his position in music and cultural history evolved? What do Ligeti and his music have to say to us in our post-postmodern times? Why do his works still fascinate us so much, and has our approach to them changed in recent decades (especially since his death)?

The book is divided into three sections: The first part, Ligeti's Music, includes studies of individual works, using a variety of methodological approaches. The second part, Context and Reception, deals with the world in which Ligeti operated and by which he was influenced, and with the ways in which he in turn shaped cultural works. The final part, New Sources, looks at source material that has been newly discovered or not previously available to researchers, as well as new readings of already known texts and scores. 

György Ligeti saw himself more as a member of the European intelligentsia and culture than as a member of a particular country. At a time when the concept of a common European culture seems to be under threat, can Ligeti and his music contribute to a better understanding of our common values and interests, despite all the differences between East and West, North and South, modernists and postmodernists, populists, and intellectuals?

Further information:


Book presentations:

December 9, 2022
Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca

March 18, 2023
University College Dublin

April 13, 2023
Università degli Studi di Salerno