Gyorgy Ligeti, Composer

“Because one never knew quite what to expect before hearing a new Ligeti work, his music sometimes startled listeners. Yet this eclecticism allowed him to escape some paradoxical aesthetic traps that were endemic to late 20th-century composition. He insisted that his music was ‘neither tonal nor atonal’ and while he never blithely reiterated the musical language of the past, neither did he strive to be modern or avant-garde at the expense of communication with an audience.”