BIOGRAPHY

Drawing upon influences including Downtown New York experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, and traditional music from Africa, Lukas Ligeti has developed a unique voice as a composer and improviser.

With performances at major venues and festivals worldwide, his compositions have been commissioned among others by Bang on a Can, Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern, the American Composers Orchestra, MDR Orchestra (Germany), Håkan Hardenberger and Colin Currie, New York University, Subtropics Festival/Historical Museum of South Florida, the Vienna Festwochen, Radio France, Icebreaker (UK), and a consortium featuring marimbists such as Eric Beach (So Percussion) and Ji Hye Jung. His music has also been performed by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Tonkünstler Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Present Music, Ensemble mise-en, Contemporaneous, Ensemble “die reihe”, the Amadinda, Third Coast, and Kroumata Percussion Groups, etc.

Lukas has collaborated with choreographers such as Karole Armitage and Panaibra Gabriel Canda, composed music for the European ARTE TV channel, and created a sound installation for the Goethe Institute on the occasion of the 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil. He has participated in two projects of Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui, and was artist-in-residence at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, where he created a site-specific performance.

As a drummer, he has worked with John Zorn, Marilyn Crispell, Gary Lucas, John Tchicai, Henry Kaiser, Michael Manring, Wadada Leo Smith, DJ Spooky, Elliott Sharp, Raoul Björkenheim, Thollem McDonas, Jon Rose, Benoît Delbecq, members of Sonic Youth and the Grateful Dead, etc., and leads or co-leads several bands such as Hypercolor (with Eyal Maoz and James Ilgenfritz) and Notebook. He has given solo electronic percussion concerts on four continents, performing on the Marimba Lumina, an instrument designed by seminal synthesizer engineer Don Buchla.

A pioneer in experimental intercultural collaboration in Africa for more than 20 years, he co-founded the ensemble Beta Foly in Côte d’Ivoire and today co-leads Burkina Electric, the first electronica band from Burkina Faso. He has also engaged in collaborations and/or led projects in Egypt (with Nubian musicians and musicians of the Cairo Opera Orchestra), Uganda (with that country’s premier music/dance group, the Ndere Troupe), Kenya, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, etc.

Lukas studied composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria, his city of birth. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and subsequently lived in New York City from 1998 until 2015, when he became Assistant Professor in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology, an innovative PhD program at the University of California, Irvine. He has taught at the University of Ghana, lecturing in collaboration with the eminent composer/musicologist J.H. Kwabena Nketia, and is currently completing a PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was previously composer-in-residence.

In 2010, Lukas received the CalArts Alpert Award in Music. He has also been awarded two Composition Fellowships by the New York Foundation for the Arts and two yearlong Austrian State Grants in composition. His music is featured on CDs on Tzadik, Cantaloupe, Intuition, Innova, Leo, and other record labels, and he is an endorser of Vic Firth drumsticks.

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