György Ligeti Collection

György Ligeti
Hungarian-Austrian composer

born on 28 May 1923 in Târnăveni, Transylvania, Rumania
died on 12 June 2006 in Vienna, Austria


The György Ligeti Collection contains practically all of the composer's posthumous estate. Some of the music manuscripts, as well as correspondence and textual manuscripts, already entered the holdings of the Paul Sacher Foundation from the Ove Nordwall Collection in 1991. Ligeti himself handed the bulk of his working papers to the Foundation in 2000. Further additions arrived with the clearance of his Hamburg studio in 2004 and following his death in 2006.

Photo Schott / Peter Andersen
Photo Schott / Peter Andersen

The collection comprises manuscripts (sketches, drafts, fair copies) for most of Ligeti's works, both from his early years in Hungary and after his emigration in 1956, as well as a large number of sketchbooks and fragmentary works.

Also included in the collection are textual manuscripts and a voluminous correspondence with over 1000 correspondents, such as H. G. Adler, Pierre Boulez, Elias Canetti, Carl Dahlhaus, Peter Maxwell Davies, Mario di Bonaventura, Erich Doflein, Ferenc Farkas, Morton Feldman, Ernst Gombrich, Ernst Krenek, György and Martá Kurtág, Bruno Maderna, Gerhard Neuweiler, Luigi Nono, Ove Nordwall, Roman Polanski, Jean‑Claude Risset, Wolf Rosenberg, Nelly Sachs, Matyás Seiber, Wolfgang Steinecke, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Heinrich Strobel, Stefan Wolpe, Iannis Xenakis, Bernd Alois Zimmermann and a great many institutions.

György Ligeti, Sketch for Atmosphères (1961)
György Ligeti, Sketch for Atmosphères (1961)

The collection also contains many photographs, sound recordings, film documents, part of Ligeti's personal (sound) library and biographical documents as well as programme booklets and reviews (beginning in the 1950s).

Scope of holdings

  • Music manuscripts: sketches, drafts, fair copies: ca. 25.000 pages, accessible on microfilm
  • Textual manuscripts: ca. 2.000 pages
  • Correspondence: ca. 16.000 pages, accessible on microfilm (54 archival boxes, unfilmed as of April 2015)
  • Sound recordings: 430 magnetic tapes and 278 LPs
  • Films and videos: 70 videos
  • Programmes and reviews: 32 archival boxes
  • Photographs: information to be supplied

Period covered

ca. 1938 to 2006


  • Sammlung György Ligeti: Musikmanuskripte, Inventare der Paul Sacher Stiftung, vol. 34 (Mainz: Schott Music, 2016) – OUT OF PRINT
  • An internal microfilm index can be consulted at the PSS
  • Internal lists can be consulted at the PSS

Internal links

  • 2023: Ligeti Labyrinth: A Guided Tour through the Œuvre of György Ligeti - catalogue
  • 2023: Ligeti Labyrinth: An Exhibition Celebrating the Centenary of György Ligeti’s Birth - info
  • 2007: György Ligeti, Gesammelte Schriften, 2 vols., ed. Monika Lichtenfeld, Veröffentlichungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, vol. 10

Research articles in Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung (for PDF files click here):

  • no. 29, 2016: Heidy Zimmermann, "Smuel Ligeti" – Spuren einer zionistischen Episode in György Ligetis Frühwerk
  • no. 26, 2013: Márton Kerékfy, A Folkloric Collage Jettisoned: The Original Version of the First Movement of György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto (1990)
  • no. 25, 2012: Bianca Tiplea Temes, Tracking Down Ligeti’s Unfinished Third and Fourth String Quartets
  • no. 22, 2009: Jennifer Iverson, Shared Compositional Techniques between György Ligeti's Pièce électronique N° 3 and Atmosphères
  • no. 21, 2008: Ferenc László, Ein frühes Ligeti-Autograph: Burját aratódal (1945)
  • no. 20, 2007: Martin Scherzinger, Remarks on a Sketch of György Ligeti : A Case of African Pianism
  • no. 18, 2005: Simon Gallot, Symétrie et asymétrie dans «The Lobster Quadrille» de György Ligeti: au rythme d’une danse dégingandée
  • no. 16, 2003: Jonathan W. Bernard, A Key to Structure in the Kyrie of György Ligeti’s Requiem
  • no. 15, 2002: Stefan Fricke, Fluxus-Musik mit Metronomen
  • no. 15, 2002: Yulia Kreinin, «To Arrest the Process»: Moving Clusters by György Ligeti and Witold Lutoslawski
  • no. 10, 1997: Maria Kostakeva, Die asemantische Semantik in der Vokalmelodik György Ligetis (am Beispiel der Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures)

External links

Editor: Schott Music


4 February 2019