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Composer/Percussionist Lukas Ligeti 50th Birthday Celebrations

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Special Performances, Recordings, and Events to Celebrate the 50th Birthday of Innovative Composer/Percussionist Lukas Ligeti

New York City, NY — Composer/percussionist Lukas Ligeti today announced a robust 2015 season in anticipation of his 50th birthday (6.13.15). A champion of intercultural music and arguably one of the world’s most ingenious composers, Lukas is celebrating with world premieres at Roulette, two album releases, live performances with his jazz hybrid trio Hypercolor, a weeklong Stone residency, and more. See below for a complete schedule.

As Lukas approaches 50, he is well placed to continue on his sonic voyage to discover and produce thought-provoking, intercontinental, chaotic yet beautiful music. “It is thrilling to be entering my fifth decade with great ebullience and an insatiable hunger to create new, adventurous music,” says Lukas. Known for embodying a disruptive, innovative approach to music, Lukas strives to find new sounds through cross-cultural and cross-genre collaboration. “When I compose, I always want to present something new. I hope to innovate and deliver works of the highest integrity.”

Kick-starting 2015 is the release of two jazz albums: Hypercolor (Tzadik) with Lukas on drums, Eyal Maoz on guitar, and James Ilgenfritz on bass; and Imaginary Images (Leo) with Lukas on drums and Thollem McDonas on piano. According to NYC Jazz Record, Lukas “has paved his own road as both a protean composer and improviser and on his latest pair of sonic explorations, he showcases both strengths.” Upcoming performances include a month-long nationwide CD release tour with Hypercolor as well as a weeklong Stone residency showcasing some of Lukas’s old and new improvised projects. And, a special birthday festival celebration sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York will take place at Roulette featuring premieres of Lukas’s work for chamber orchestra Ensemble Mise-En.

Lukas has written 25+ commissioned works, composed 50+ world premieres, recorded 12+ albums, performed in 30+ countries, and taught at 20+ universities around the world. He neatly bridges the classical-modernist-world-music divide by combining his post-minimalist compositional style with other facets of contemporary expressions such as noise and electronics as well as indigenous non-Western musical and cultural influences.

His contemporary classical writing is polymetric and polytemporal, absorbing rhythms, forms, and concepts from a variety of African sources. Having participated in cultural exchange projects in Africa for the past 20 years, Lukas uses an African template for his explorations of rhythmic improvisations and extremities. “I’m interested in creating consonances and dissonances of rhythm,” says Lukas.

As a percussionist, he enhances his prodigious technique with a frenzy of prerecorded samples from his many journeys to Africa, the deepest of roots music, and cyclonic electronics. He often performs on the Marimba Lumina, an electronic percussion instrument invented by synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla. “Ligeti on the electronic sampling drum set is currently probably without peer in the music scene.” (Jazz- Podium)

About Lukas Ligeti

Brooklyn-via-Austria percussionist/composer Lukas Ligeti is a pioneer in the field of experimental intercultural collaboration and has created some of the most strikingly original music of the past decades. Scion of avant-garde classical pioneer György Ligeti, Lukas has long been involved in contemporary classical music but is also known for his experimental forays into jazz and world music genres, including work in various parts of Africa. His music, often characterized by complex polymetric structures, ranges from the through-composed to the free-improvised and frequently involves live electronics. Lukas has been commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, Bang On A Can, Kronos Quartet, to name a few; composed music for installations and choreographers; and founded several bands including Hypercolor, Notebook, and Burkina Electric, the first electronica group from Burkina Faso.

LUKAS LIGETI | 50th BIRTHDAY 2015 EVENTS

January CD release of Hypercolor (Tzadik) featuring Ligeti’s rock hybrid trio Hypercolor with Eyal Maoz (guitar) and James Ilgenfritz (bass)

2.01 concert @ Cornelia Street Café, NYC, with guitarist Grey McMurray as part of the entertaining science series curated by Nobel prize-winning chemist Roald Hoffman


    2.04 concert @ The Stone, NYC, with improvised trio featuring Henry Kaiser (guitar) and Bill Laswell (bass)

    2.09 CD Release concert @ Jack, Brooklyn, NYC, celebrating the new Hypercolor album Hypercolor (Tzadik) featuring Eyal Maoz (guitar) and James Ilgenfritz (bass)

    3.01-3.15 CD Release concert tour with Hypercolor in Washington, DC, Columbia and Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC, Chattanooga, TN, Charlottesville, VA, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA, Detroit and Kalamazoo, MI, Louisville, KY, South Bend, IN, Cleveland, OH, and more

    3.16 @ Spectrum, NYC, improvised duo with Thollem McDonas (piano), playing works off of their latest album Imaginary Images (Leo, 2014)

    3.22 @ Carnegie Hall (Zankel Hall), NYC, performance on Marimba Lumina of a Meredith Monk piece, Shadow Song, as part of the special Meredith Monk & Friends concert

    3.31-4.05 @ The Stone, NYC, week-long residency showcasing some of Ligeti’s old and new improvised (free and partially improvised) projects; guest artists include Hypercolor, Susie Ibarra, Marilyn Crispell, Gary Lucas, Miya Masaoka, and more

    4.11 @ Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany, solo drum performance as part of a special exhibition celebrating the Zero Group

    5.09 @ Conservatorio di Musica di Vicenza + Vicenza Jazz Festival, Italy, concert of Ligeti’s partially-composed/partially-improvised music as well as workshops with students

    6.09 and/or 6.11 50th Birthday Festival concert @ Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY), NYC, performers and works to be announced soon

    6.14 50th Birthday Festival concert @ Roulette, Brooklyn, NYC, featuring world premiere for chamber orchestra commissioned by ACFNY, world premiere of a large solo marimba piece commissioned by a consortium of 16 leading American marimbists, US and NYC premieres for chamber orchestra performed by Ensemble Mise-En and conducted by Oliver Hagen, and more

    “Ligeti represents…a new generation of musical Superman – a globally minded, technologically adept, technically sophisticated composer who also happens to be a virtuoso performer and accomplished improvisor.” —Los Angeles Times

    “There's something original here... his music is defiantly individual.” —The Guardian

    “Lukas Ligeti is a bit of an enigma ...his work regularly veers into some of music’s less charted waters.” —Gramophone

This story appears courtesy of AMT Public Relations.
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