Finding His Own Way

Lukas Ligeti on artistic influences and his father's legacy.

One of the reasons György Ligeti’s music continues to fascinate audiences is that the composer constantly reinvented his musical style and was always searching for something new; a consequence of his incredible openness to a wide range of musical styles across different genres and cultures. His son Lukas Ligeti has inherited this curiosity and has devoted a large part of his career to crossing the boundaries between different musical traditions, both as a composer and percussionist and in his role as a Professor at the University of California. Christoph Wagner met him to talk about his development as a musician, his fascination for African music and his relationship to his father. Here we reproduce excerpts from their conversation with the kind permission of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, where the full-length interview was originally published (02/2019).

© Irmeli Jung

In 2019, Wergo released a portrait CD including Anssi Karttunen’s recordings of Hans Werner Henze’s English Love Songs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Oliver Knussen.