Kyl­wi­ria and Other Ex­plo­ra­ti­ons

An international musicological conference on György Ligeti’s centenary

Vienna & Budapest, 10.-13.05.2023

Deadline: 31.07.2022

In 1991, György Ligeti expressed his views on the interrelatedness of art and science in the following way:

“However different the criteria for art and for science are, there are also points in common between them, inasmuch as people working in both fields are driven by curiosity. It is a matter of exploring connections that others have yet to recognize, and designing structures that hitherto did not exist.”

Throughout his life, Ligeti had a keen interest in mathematics and natural sciences, and he often claimed that musical composition and science were comparable realms for him. Invention and exploration seem to have been key to his concept of musical creation.

The conference on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Ligeti’s birth wishes to focus on the composer’s inventive and explorative thinking regarding his compositional techniques as well as philosophical and aesthetic aspects. Another focus will be the (critical) reception of Ligeti’s composing and compositions, especially “inventive and explorative” (analytical) approaches, which have become more visible in publications of the past years. This also applies to the ongoing examination of Ligeti’s self-representation.

Papers focusing on any of the following subjects are of particular interest, though free papers are also welcome:

  • Ligeti’s concept of composing as inventing or exploring
  • scientific concepts in Ligeti’s music
  • the role of utopia in Ligeti’s intellectual world
  • Ligeti’s musical “inventions” and explorations in the fields of micropolyphony, hybrid tuning, complex metric & rhythmic structures, acoustic illusions, “synthetic folklore,” extended instrumental/vocal techniques, etc.
  • new (analytical) approaches to Ligeti’s music and (compositional) thinking
  • critical reflection of Ligeti’s self-representation and the composer’s presentation of his works

The conference is co-organized by the Department of Musicology and Performance Studies of the University of Music and Performing Arts (Vienna) and the Institute for Musicology of the Research Centre for the Humanities (Budapest) in collaboration with the Paul Sacher Foundation (Basel). The first part of the conference will take place in Vienna (10–11 May) and the second part in Budapest (12–13 May). The conference language will be English. The length of the papers should be 20 or 30 minutes, followed by discussions. The program will include paper sessions, concerts, and the opening of the exhibition “Ligeti the Inventor of Musical Worlds” in the Museum of Music History in Budapest.

Submissions should be sent no later than 31 July 2022 to, including

  • the title of the paper and an abstract of a maximum of 250 words in .docx or .doc format
  • the applicant’s short CV in .docx or .doc format.
  • the planned date of arrival and departure

Each applicant will be informed about the acceptance or rejection of his or her submission by 1 October 2022.

Depending on the extent of financial support granted, accommodation during the conference and transfer from Vienna to Budapest are expected to be partly or fully covered by the organizers.

For more information, please contact or a member of the program committee.

Anna Dalos
Julia Heimerdinger
Márton Kerékfy
Heidy Zimmermann