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.


Sir Simon Rattle, principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic: RPS Gold Medal Awarded in 1999.


The cost of a bassoon for a young player starting their professional training is about £15,000. The RPS John Barbirolli Fund offers much needed financial assistance with instrument purchase.