classical music
contemporary classical

Aurora Orchestra - Ligeti Concertos

Part of Associate Orchestras

For this special concert, three of the world’s great Ligeti interpreters join Aurora Orchestra under Nicholas Collon to perform some of his most imaginative and powerful music.

One of the most distinctive musical voices of the 20th century, György Ligeti created magical soundscapes of intriguing rhythms and vivid colour. Aurora Orchestra explores this groundbreaking composer’s imaginative music, mind, and life in its next Orchestral Theatre event. Staged as a multimedia concert, Ligeti Concertos draws together animations, mini-presentations, and performances, illuminating the way Ligeti’s fantastical inner world seeps through his music.

Nothing is ever predictable in Ligeti’s scores. The Violin Concerto challenges its soloist to improvise most of its substantial cadenza. The Piano Concerto, overflowing with intriguing rhythmic effects, also features rare colours in orchestration including ocarina, harmonica and a slide whistle. The Chamber Concerto, influenced by Ligeti’s compatriot Bartók, explores a succession of musical moods – its strange sonic world enhanced by both harpsichord and Hammond organ. For the ‘Hamburg’ Concerto for solo horn, meanwhile, the composer deploys four natural horns alongside the soloist to create a startling sonic landscape of overtones, dissonant harmonies, and complex rhythmic interplay.

This is a rare chance to hear four of the composer's major works in one concert, performed by their leading interpreters: violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, known for her inventive take on the Violin Concerto; pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Ligeti’s chosen interpreter of his piano works; and Marie-Luise Neunecker, dedicatee of the Horn Concerto.

Part of The Orchestral Theatre: The Claus Moser Series at Southbank Centre.


Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano
Patricia Kopatchinskaja violin
Marie-Luise Neunecker horn
William Reynolds
Jane Mitchell
Ola Szmida


Ligeti: Chamber Concerto; Piano Concerto
Ligeti: Hamburgisches Konzert (Horn Concerto); Violin Concerto
Encore: -
Ligeti: Balada si joc (Ballad and dance) for 2 violins

Dates & times

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Queen Elizabeth Hall


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Related events
Saturday 5 May, 12 noon-4pm, St Paul's Roof Pavilion at Royal Festival Hall: What You Need To Know - Ligeti in depth. £25, students £7.50. (See separate event).