The Hungarian Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006) was at the head of the avant garde from the early 1960s, and remained at the forefront of musical change and innovation. The use of his music in Stanley Kubrick's films 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining has ensured that his music has reached a wider audience. Richard Toop appraises all the principal compositions of Ligeti as well as his work as a teacher and mentor, and traces the composer's life beginning with his survival as a Jew during World War II, his flight to West Germany during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and his subsequent work in the Cologne electronic studios. To many of the composers who came to prominence during the 1960s and 70s Ligeti's music has been a lasting inspiration.
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