Gyorgy Ligeti

The Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal has been given to one of the giants of the post-Second World War generation, the Hungarian composer György Ligeti.

The Gold Medal was presented to Ligeti in Vienna by RPS Chairman Tony Fell, and Richard Steinitz, a friend of Ligeti and author of a recent biography of the composer György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination (Faber)

In making the Award the Council’s citation read:

“Ligeti is a composer of endless curiosity and constant reinvention, a teacher and inspirer of others whose extraordinary achievements embody the RPS’s values of Creativity, Excellence and Understanding. He is one of the few composers who consistently communicates with audiences; his music speaks to a very wide audience across many boundaries and is now reaching a younger generation.”

Ligeti is only the 90th recipient of the RPS Gold Medal and joins an outstanding list of musicians, composers and conductors, including (most recently) Alfred Brendel, Colin Davis, Elliott Carter, Rafael Kubelik, Pierre Boulez, Simon Rattle, Placido Domingo, Joan Sutherland and Claudio Abbado.


Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music: The dynamic cultural advocacy of the RPS makes an incalculable contribution to British musical life.


During World War 2, when the BBCSO was evacuated to Bristol, the RPS stepped in to ensure that the 1940 Proms season would go ahead.