Acceptance Speech – Bern, 15.11.1991
1991 Balzan Prize for Music
For his work, which, starting with the great Hungarian tradition, has had a vast innovative effect on today’s musical language. His compositions, written for a wide variety of ensembles, have marked important events in contemporary art. For his meticulous attention to the possibility of using rhythm and timbre, he has created an original and fascinating universe of sound.
The composer Gyorgy Ligeti improvised his speech by recalling his personal experience living under a totalitarian regime, and emphasising the exceptional value he attached to music as a pre-eminent factor in the unity of peoples.