A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

György Ligeti

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May 28, 1923: György Sándor Ligeti is born next to the synagogue in Dicsöszentmárton (Diciosânmartin), Kingdom of Romania, (now Târnáveni), 250 km northwest of Bucharest, first of two children born to Sándor Ligeti, an economist and banker, and Ilona Somogyi, an opthamologist.
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May 21, 1948: Solitude for chorus by György Ligeti (24) to words of Weöres is performed for the first time, in Budapest.
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May 22, 1948: Works for solo piano by György Ligeti (24) are performed for the first time, in Budapest: Two Capriccios and Invention for piano.
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May 25, 1948: Három Weöres-dal, three songs for voice and piano by György Ligeti (24) to words of Weöres, are performed for the first time, in Budapest, the composer at the keyboard.
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August 8, 1949: Cantata for a Youth Festival for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Györgi Ligeti (26) is performed for the first time, in Budapest.
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August 19, 1949: Cantata for a Youth Festival for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra by Györgi Ligeti (26) is performed for the first time, at the Budapest Opera.
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May 30, 1951: Wedding Dance for chorus by György Ligeti (28) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Hungarian Radio.
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April 1, 1952: The Romanian Concerto by György Ligeti (28) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Budapest Radio.
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April 8, 1952: Youth for chorus by György Ligeti (28) is performed for the first time, in Budapest.
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August 8, 1952: Shortly after his divorce from his first wife, Györgi Ligeti (29) marries Veronika Spitz, a psychologist, in Budapest. They marry solely to prevent her deportation (her family is considered bourgeois) and with an understanding of a rapid divorce. They will divorce in 1954 after the death of Stalin, but will remarry in January 1957.
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November 7, 1956: During a broadcast of Gesang der Junglinge by Karlheinz Stockhausen (28), György Ligeti (33), unlike his fellow Hungarians who hide in cellars, braves explosions and shrapnel and stays above ground to hear the radio.
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December 10, 1956: György Ligeti (33) and his former wife Vera take a train from Budapest to the west, hoping to flee Hungary. The train is stopped at Sárvár by Soviet troops, but they manage to escape into the town and hide in the local post office.
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December 11, 1956: György Ligeti (33) and his former wife Vera continue their escape from Hungary in a postal train from Sárvár hidden under mailbags. They are let off a few kilometers from the border and, under the cover of darkness, they walk across into Austria making it finally to the town of Lutzmannsdorf.
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December 13, 1956: A day after escaping from Hungary, György Ligeti (33) and his former wife are driven from the border town of Lutzmannsdorf to Vienna. They will remarry next year.
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February 1, 1957: György Ligeti (33) arrives in Cologne from Vienna. He has received a four-month scholarship from WDR.
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March 3, 1957: Györgi Ligeti (33), in Cologne, writes to Edgard Varèse (73), asking for help in emigrating to the United States. According to Ligeti, he never hears from Varèse.
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March 25, 1958: Artikulation for four-track tape by György Ligeti (34) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of WDR, Cologne. Also premiered is Bruno Maderna’s (37) tape work, Continuo.
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May 8, 1958: String Quartet no.1 “Métamorphoses nocturnes” by György Ligeti (34) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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June 19, 1960: Apparitions for orchestra by György Ligeti (37) is performed for the first time, in Cologne. It is wildly cheered and marks Ligeti’s first great success as a composer.
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October 22, 1961: Three works for orchestra are performed for the first time, in Donaueschingen: Atmosphères by Györgi Ligeti (38), Epifanie by Luciano Berio (35), and Contrasts by Gunther Schuller (35). The audience requires that Atmosphères by encored.
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March 23, 1962: Fragment for ten players by Györgi Ligeti (38) is performed for the first time, in Munich. The composer conducts, one of only three times in his life.
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May 4, 1962: Volumina for organ by György Ligeti (38) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Radio Bremen. This was to be a live performance by Karl-Erik Welin but when Welin practiced the piece at Göteborg Cathedral the electronic organ was overloaded and began to smoke, giving off the smell of burning rubber. Upon hearing of this, the Bremen Cathedral authorities refused to allow the performance to proceed and the premiere over Bremen Radio consists of a tape recording made of Welin practicing the piece at the Johanniskyrkan in Stockholm. Unfortunately, the tape was too short and the last few minutes are missing. A complete premiere will take place in the Westerkerk, Amsterdam on 10 May. Also premiered is Improvisation ajoutée for organ and two assistants by Mauricio Kagel (29).
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May 11, 1962: Volumina for organ by György Ligeti (38) is performed for the first time, in the Westerkerk, Amsterdam. See 4 May 1962.
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September 26, 1962: Trois Bagatelles for pianist by György Ligeti (39) is performed for the first time, in Wiesbaden.
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April 4, 1963: Aventures for three singers and seven instrumentalists by György Ligeti (39) is performed for the first time, over NDR, Hamburg. See 16 October 1970.
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September 13, 1963: Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes by György Ligeti (40) is performed for the first time, in Hilversum, the composer directing. The end of the performance brings silence followed by loud protestations. Dutch television records the event for broadcast in two days but the Hilversum Senate forbids its broadcast.
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March 14, 1965: Requiem for soprano, mezzo-soprano, chorus, and orchestra by Györgi Ligeti (41) is performed for the first time, in Stockholm. The effect is so overwhelming, one critic will say, “for a while all other music seemed impossible.”
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May 26, 1966: Nouvelles aventures for three singers and seven instrumentalists by György Ligeti (42) is performed for the first time, over NDR, Hamburg. See 16 October 1970.
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October 19, 1966: Aventures et Nouvelles aventures, a theatre piece for chamber works by György Ligeti (43) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Württemberg State Theatre, Stuttgart.
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November 2, 1966: Lux aeterna for 16 voices by György Ligeti (43) is performed for the first time, in Stuttgart.
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May 16, 1967: Widow Papai for unaccompanied chorus by György Ligeti (43) to traditional words is performed for the first time, in Stockholm.
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October 14, 1967: Study no.1 “Harmonies” for organ by György Ligeti (44) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg. Also premiered is Phantasie for organ, two assistants, and two tapes by Mauricio Kagel (35).
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October 22, 1967: Two new works are performed for the first time, in Donaueschingen: Capriccio for violin and orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki (33) and Lontano for orchestra by György Ligeti (44).
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March 16, 1968: Night and Morning for unaccompanied chorus by György Ligeti (44) to words of Weöres are performed for the first time, in Stockholm.
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January 20, 1969: Two chamber works by György Ligeti (45) are performed for the first time, in Malmö, Sweden: Six Bagatelles for wind quintet (arranged from Musica ricercata), and Ten Pieces for wind quintet. See 18 November 1969.
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April 23, 1969: Ramifications for string orchestra by György Ligeti (45) is performed for the first time, in Berlin. See 10 October 1969.
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October 10, 1969: Ramifications by György Ligeti (46) is performed for the first time, in the setting for twelve solo strings, in Saarbrücken. See 23 April 1969.
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October 19, 1969: Study no.2 “Coulée” for organ György Ligeti (46) is performed for the first time, in Basilika Seckau, Graz.
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November 18, 1969: Musica ricercata for piano by György Ligeti (46) is performed for the first time, in Sundsvall, Sweden. 20 January 1969.
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December 14, 1969: String Quartet no.2 by György Ligeti (46) is performed for the first time, in Baden-Baden.
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May 11, 1970: The first three movements of Chamber Concerto for 13 instrumentalists by György Ligeti (46) are performed for the first time, in Vienna. See 1 October 1970.
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October 1, 1970: Chamber Concerto for 13 instrumentalists by György Ligeti (47) is performed completely for the first time, in Berlin. See 11 May 1970.
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October 16, 1970: A ballet to György Ligeti’s (47) Aventures et Nouvelles Aventures is performed for the first time, in Graz. See 4 April 1963 and 26 May 1966.
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April 17, 1971: Far From Home for women’s chorus by György Ligeti (47) to words of Balassa and traditional texts, is performed for the first time, in Stockholm. The work was completed in 1946.
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December 10, 1971: Melodien for orchestra by György Ligeti (48) is performed for the first time, in Nuremberg.
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September 16, 1972: Double Concerto for flute, oboe, and orchestra by György Ligeti (49) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
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October 15, 1973: Clocks and Clouds for female chorus and orchestra by György Ligeti (50) is performed for the first time, in Graz.
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January 8, 1975: San Francisco Polyphony for orchestra by György Ligeti (51) is performed for the first time, in San Francisco.
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May 15, 1976: Monument, Selbstportrait, Bewegung for two pianos by György Ligeti (52) is performed for the first time, in Cologne.
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May 16, 1976: Six Miniatures for ten winds by György Ligeti (52), in collaboration with Fridrich K. Warek, is performed for the first time, in Schwetzingen.
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February 26, 1977: Rondeau for actor and tape by György Ligeti (53) is performed for the first time, in Stuttgart.
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April 12, 1978: Le grand macabre, a music-theatre by György Ligeti (54) to words of Meschke and the composer after de Ghelderode, is performed for the first time, in the Royal Opera, Stockholm. It is a great success, selling out seven performances. See 21 December 1978.
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May 20, 1978: Hungarian Rock for harpsichord by György Ligeti (54) is performed for the first time, in Cologne.
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December 21, 1978: Scenes and Entr’actes from Le Grand Macabre for soprano, mezzo-soprano, buffo tenor, character baritone, chorus, and orchestra by György Ligeti (55) is performed for the first time, in Berlin. See 12 April 1978.
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February 5, 1979: Passacaglia ungherese for harpsichord by György Ligeti (55) is performed for the first time, in Lund, Sweden.
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May 2, 1982: Duo for violin and cello by György Ligeti (58) is performed for the first time, in Stockholm in honor of the 90th birthday of Swedish composer Hilding Rosenberg.
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August 7, 1982: Trio for violin, horn and piano by Györgi Ligeti (59) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg-Bergedorf.
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May 18, 1983: At a concert in Stuttgart to honor his 60th birthday, the first two numbers of Hungarian Studies for chorus by György Ligeti (59) to words of Weöres are performed for the first time, along with the premiere of his Solitude for chorus to words of Weöres. Also premiered is Intermezzo for speaker, chorus and instruments by Mauricio Kagel (51). See 17 November 1983.
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September 26, 1983: Drei Phantasien for 16 voices by György Ligeti (60) to words of Hölderlin is performed for the first time, in Stockholm.
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October 24, 1983: Sonata for cello by György Ligeti (60) is performed for the first time, in Paris, 30 years after it was composed.
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November 17, 1983: The third of the Hungarian Studies for unaccompanied chorus by György Ligeti (60) is performed for the first time, in Metz. See 18 May 1983.
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April 1, 1984: The Big Turtle Fanfare from the South China Sea for solo trumpet by György Ligeti (60) is performed for the first time, in Stockholm.
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June 9, 1984: György Ligeti’s (61) choral work Songs from Mátraszentimre to traditional words is performed for the first time, in Saarbrücken, 29 years after it was composed.
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September 24, 1985: Etudes 2, 3, and 6 from György Ligeti’s (62) Etudes pour piano Book I are performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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October 27, 1985: Polyphonic etude for piano four hands by György Ligeti (62) is performed for the first time, in the Stockholm Konserthuset, 42 years after it was composed.
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April 15, 1986: Etude 1 from György Ligeti’s (62) Études pour piano Book I is performed for the first time, in Bratislava.
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August 2, 1986: The third and fourth of the Fünf Stücke for piano four hands by György Ligeti (63) are performed for the first time, in Schloss Hohenems.
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October 23, 1986: Piano Concerto by György Ligeti (63) in the original three movement version is performed for the first time, in Graz. See 29 February 1988.
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November 11, 1986: György Ligeti (63) is presented the Grawemeyer Award at the University of Louisville for his Etudes for piano.
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February 29, 1988: The complete version of György Ligeti’s (64) Piano Concerto (including the fourth and fifth movements) is performed for the first time, in the Mozart Room of the Konzerthaus Society, Vienna. See 23 October 1986.
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September 25, 1988: The first four of the Nonsense Madrigals for six solo voices by György Ligeti (65) are performed for the first time, in Berlin. See 4 November 1989 and 27 November 1993.
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October 17, 1988: For Ligeti for player piano by Conlon Nancarrow (75) is performed for the first time, in a 65th birthday tribute to György Ligeti in the Hamburgische Staatsoper.
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September 23, 1989: Etudes 7 and 8 from György Ligeti’s (66) Etudes for piano Book II are performed for the first time, in Berlin.
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October 28, 1989: The fifth of the Nonsense Madrigals for six solo voices by György Ligeti (66) is performed for the first time, in London. In this performance, the five madrigals are interspersed with movements from La messe de Notre Dame . See 25 September 1988 and 27 November 1993.
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May 5, 1990: Etude 9 from György Ligeti’s (66) Etudes for piano Book II is performed for the first time, in Gütersloh.
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November 3, 1990: Sections of the Concerto for violin and orchestra by György Ligeti (67) are performed for the first time, in Cologne. See 8 October 1992.
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November 18, 1991: Several new works are performed for the first time, in the Konzerthaus, Vienna to celebrate the 90th birthday of Alfred Schlee, director of Universal Edition: Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes by Olivier Messiaen (82), Anthèmes I for violin by Pierre Boulez (66), the second movement of the Sonata for viola by Györgi Ligeti (68), Psalom for string quartet by Arvo Pärt (56), Zwischen den Zeilen for string quartet by Wolfgang Rihm (39) and Freize I for string quartet by Harrison Birtwistle (57). See 19 October 1997, 28 March 1993, 23 April 1994, and 28 April 1996.
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October 8, 1992: Concerto for violin and orchestra by Györgi Ligeti (69) is performed completely for the first time, in Cologne. See 3 November 1990 and 9 June 1993.
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March 28, 1993: The third movement of the Sonata for viola by Györgi Ligeti (69) is performed for the first time, in Geneva. See 18 November 1991 and 23 April 1994.
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May 23, 1993: Etude 13 from György Ligeti’s (69) Etudes for piano Book II is performed for the first time, in Schwetzingen.
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June 9, 1993: The definitive version of the Concerto for violin and orchestra by Györgi Ligeti (70) is performed for the first time, in Lyon conducted by Pierre Boulez (68). See 3 November 1990 and 8 October 1992.
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November 18, 1993: Etudes 12 and 14 from György Ligeti’s (70) Etudes for piano Book II are performed for the first time, in Münster.
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November 27, 1993: The sixth of the Nonsense Madrigals for six solo voices by György Ligeti (70) is performed for the first time, in Huddersfield. See 25 September 1988 and 27 November 1993.
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April 23, 1994: The Sonata for viola by Györgi Ligeti (70) is performed completely for the first time, in Gütersloh. See 18 November 1991 and 28 March 1993.
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April 24, 1994: Several works for chorus by Györgi Ligeti (70) are performed for the first time, in Gütersloh: Kings in Bethlehem, From a High Mountain Rock and Easter, all composed in 1946, Like a Stream Gently Flowing composed in 1947 and Songs from Inaktelke composed in 1953.
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July 28, 1994: Andante cantabile and Allegretto poco capriccioso for string quartet by Györgi Ligeti (71) are performed for the first time, in Salzburg, 44 years after they were composed.
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October 6, 1994: Etude 10 from György Ligeti’s (71) Etudes for piano Book II is performed for the first time, in Strasbourg.
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November 7, 1994: Etude 11 from György Ligeti’s (71) Etudes for piano Book II is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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April 10, 1995: Summer for voice and piano by Györgi Ligeti (71) after Friedrich Hölderlin is performed for the first time, at the University of Oregon.
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February 2, 1996: Pièce électronique no.3 by Györgi Ligeti (72) is performed for the first time, at The Hague, 38 years after it was created in graphic score.
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October 17, 1997: Etude 16 from György Ligeti’s (74) Etudes for piano Book III is performed for the first time, in Donaueschingen.
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October 23, 1998: Etude 17 from György Ligeti’s (75) Etudes for piano Book III is performed for the first time, in London.
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October 9, 2000: Györgi Ligeti (77) is awarded the Sibelius Prize in Helsinki.
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November 10, 2000: With Pipes, Drums, Fiddles, a cycle for mezzo-soprano and percussion by Györgi Ligeti (77) to words of Weöres, is performed for the first time, in Metz.
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January 20, 2001: Hamburg Concerto for horn and orchestra by György Ligeti (77) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
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May 11, 2001: Etude 18 from György Ligeti’s (77) Etudes for piano Book III is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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September 30, 2002: A seventh movement for the Hamburg Concerto for horn and orchestra by György Ligeti (79) is performed for the first time, in Utrecht. See 20 January 2001.
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September 13, 2003: The City of Frankfurt presents the Theodor W. Adorno prize to Györgi Ligeti (80).
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June 12, 2006: György Sándor Ligeti dies in Vienna, Republic of Austria, aged 83 years and 15 days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.