Lukas Ligeti

Lukas Ligeti


Transcending the boundaries of genre, the Austrian, New-York-City-based composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown New York experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, as well as world music, particularly from Africa.  Known for his non-conformity and diverse interests, Lukas creates music ranging from the through-composed to the free-improvised, often exploring polyrhythmic/polytempo structures, non-tempered

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What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?

It was a very beautiful encouragement and recognition, and the first support of this kind that I received after moving to the U.S., so it made me feel all the more at home.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?

I am still a composer and drummer/improvisor. I am also, after many years as a pure freelancer, currently working towards a PhD, which I'm doing in Johannesburg, South Africa although I continue to reside mainly in NYC. I have continued - and greatly expanded - my activities in intercultural collaborative work; and recently started Pidgin Culture, a small organization to conceptualize and facilitate this work. I have learned a huge amount as a composer and musician from collaborating with many amazing colleagues, and it seems like almost my entire professional life/career has happened since I received the Fellowship in 1996, with only a small fraction having happened before! To hear some of my work, go to:

Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?

My advice probably runs contrary to what most others would say these days. I say: concentrate on your art, be original, be yourself. Don't spend all your energy self-promoting and being a businessperson. You might have a hard time either way, but if you focus on the art, you will at least do something worthwhile.

Technology exploding; artistic concepts stagnating.