Lukas Ligeti

Born in Vienna, Lukas Ligeti arrived in the U.S. in the mid-90s living and working primarily in New York City until 2015. Ligeti studied composition at the university of music and performing arts in Vienna, Austria; holds a Ph.D. from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa; and currently teaches at the University of California, Irvine.

Ligeti has been commissioned by ensembles around the world such as Bang on a Can, the Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Eighth Blackbird, Amadinda Percussion Group, the American Composers Orchestra, the MDR Orchestra, the Vienna Festwochen, and Armitage Gone! Dance. His works have been performed by the Orchestre National de Lyon, London Sinfonietta, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and others worldwide. As a drummer, he has worked with luminaries such as John Zorn, Marilyn Crispell, Gary Lucas, John Tchicai, Michael Manring, and Tarek Atoui, and he co-leads the trio Hypercolor as well. He has given solo concerts on four continents, performing on the Marimba Lumina, a MIDI controller designed by Don Buchla. A pioneer in the field of experimental intercultural collaboration, he co-leads Burkina Electric, the first electronica band from Burkina Faso; and he has collaborated with traditional musicians from such countries as Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, and India.

Ligeti is the recipient of the 2010 CalArts Alpert Award in Music, among other prizes.

Interviews with Lukas

Adam Reese talks with Lukas Ligeti (KXLU)

Lukas Ligeti feature at Composers NOW: Impact Series

Black Tea Music handles promotion, commissions, rental, and sales inquiries for Lukas Ligeti in North America.

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Featured Works

Moving Houses, for string quartet
Thinking Songs, for marimba solo
Incandescence, for 10 musicians
…language:PROUN:music, for soprano, violin, cello, trombone, vibraphone


Surroundedness — 14 musicians (2012)
Commissioned by Ensemble “die reihe” for its 50th Anniversary
Live recording of premiere performance at ORF RadioKulturhaus, Vienna, Austria, November 2012
Ensemble “die reihe”; Alexander Drcar, cond.

Tangle — trumpet and percussion (2006/08)
Commissioned by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust/Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger
Recorded in 2012 at Yale University, New Haven, CT
Thomas Bergeron, trumpet; Candy Chiu, percussion


Pattern Transformation


Thinking Songs

Summary of Lukas Ligeti residency in POLIN Museum