Prof. Emeritus Richard Steinitz’s György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination, published in 2003 by Faber & Faber in London and Northwestern University Press in the USA (where it won an award for ‘excellence’ from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2004), has just been reissued by Faber & Faber in paperback. Meanwhile, there is a plan to commission a Hungarian translation to be published by the former state publisher Editio Musica Budapest. If this goes ahead, the text will be extended to cover Ligeti’s final years and all the data section brought up to date.
As the sketches of Ligeti’s mature compositions became available just as Richard was finishing his original text, he has since made more detailed studies, notably of the Horn Trio and Piano Concerto, for which he has identified more than fifty of Ligeti’s abandoned attempts to compose its first page. This has resulted in an extended analytical chapter, ‘A qui un homage? Genesis of the Piano Concerto and the Horn Trio’, in a new Ligeti anthology, György Ligeti: of Foreign Lands and Strange Sounds, edited by Louise Duchesneau and Wolfgang Marx (Boydell Press 2011).
In March 2012 Richard gave the keynote paper at a Ligeti Conference held at Senate House, London University, an expanded version of which, ‘The Study of Composers’ Sketches, and an Overview of those by Ligeti’ has been published in Contemporary Music Review, Volume 31 Parts 2–3, 2012.
In July 2013, he gave the keynote paper at a Ligeti Symposium in Szombathely, Hungary, as part of the annual Bartók Festival. Entitled ’Scepticism and Curiosity: the Aesthetics of Enchantment’, it is due to be published along with other papers (probably by Ashgate) in 2014. In September he introduced Ligeti’s opera Le Grand Macabre in Oslo, invited by Norwegian State Opera on the occasion of its first Norwegian staging. In October he contributed to a 3-day Ligeti Festival and Symposium at Florida State University, USA, and delivered another paper on the Horn Trio prior to its performance in one of five Ligeti concerts, presented to an impressively high standard entirely by professors and advanced students.
As many will know, Richard’s Explosions in November: the first 33 years of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, on which he had been working for eight years, was finally published by Huddersfield University Press in 2011, as a handsomely designed large format volume containing numerous photographs. As an adjunct, he is now completing the transcription and editing of interviews and conversations with some of the world’s leading composers recorded at the festival between 1989 and the present. This is also planned for publication by the University Press in 2014.