Cascadia Composers is excited to announce the eighth concert of its 2022-23 season:


A Ligeti Odyssey: The First 100 Years

Music by and about pathbreaking composer Gyὂrgy Ligeti

Sunday, June 4th, 2023 @ 7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00 pm

The Old Madeleine Church

3123 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR

Click logo for lots of Schott’s Ligeti centennial info!

Cascadia Composers is celebrating the centennial of the birth of Gyὂrgy Ligeti, the composer whose music captured the ear of the public when film directors, including Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese, used his stunning sounds in films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Shutter Island, and Eyes Wide Shut. The concert will feature works from throughout Ligeti’s career, including Six Bagatelles for wind quintet, selections from his Etudes for Piano (which inspired the biggest epidemic of etude-writing since the days of Chopin), and his surrealistic fantasy for soprano and piano, Mysteries of the Macabre.

The concert will also include premieres by members of Cascadia Composers whose music reflects Ligeti’s continuing, inspiring influence today: Portland composer and Lewis & Clark professor Michael Johanson; Portland composer, pianist, and educator Gary Lloyd Noland; Eugene-based composer and pianist Paul Safar; Bay Area composers John Bilotta and Antonio Celaya; European-trained composer Alex Shapira, and Italian composer, pianist and sound designer Daria Baiocchi.

Performers are wind ensemble Arcturus Quintet, coloratura soprano Madeline Ross, violinist Emily Cole and flutist Zachariah Galatis, and pianists Myrna Setiawan, Rebecca Stager, Colleen Adent, Ben Gimm and Alexander Schwarzkopf. The Arcturus Quintet features Joe Berger, horn; Zachariah Galatis, flute; James Shields, clarinet; Steve Vacchi, bassoon; and Karen Wagner, oboe.


Catch this great preview!  Portland music blogger/writer James Bash has a fascinating article in The Oregonian, click the link and check it out!

If you missed our preview on All Classical’s Thursdays @ Three, just follow the link to find the archive (in the On Demand section just below their next show info), viewable through June 8. The Ligeti Odyssey segment starts just after 28:40 (although you should also check out the first segment featuring Oregon Symphony principal Nancy Ives, not only as cellist but as vocalist and composer).

If you missed Monday evening’s three-hour preview exploring Ligeti’s works on KBOO’s A Different Nature, with cellist Diane Chaplin (of Portland Cello Project and more) performing Ligeti’s Sonata for Solo Cello live in the studio, stay tuned for a link to their archived stream.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for seniors and working artists, $10 for students, free for children 12 and under. Tickets are also available at the door.

Ligeti grew up a Hungarian-speaking Jew in a part of Romanian Transylvania that had been part of Hungary before WWI. He survived perilous internment in a WWII slave labor camp and lost most of his immediate family in the Holocaust. He lived most of his life a cosmopolitan exile. Yet Ligeti retained an inexhaustible curiosity that led him to explore Romanian folk music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, and Banda polyphony from sub-Saharan Africa; fractals, visual illusions and the art of M.C. Escher; the player piano music of Conlon Nancarrow; the minimalism of Steve Reich; drum machines, auditory illusions, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” books… even the Marx Brothers! Ligeti’s music evokes compelling images, otherworldly landscapes and powerful emotions. Today, 17 years after his death, he remains a vital force in music, as will be heard in every work, both new and old.

If you’re really excited about this concert and you’re feeling generous, please consider making an additional donation, via clicking “Donate” in the upper RH corner (earmarking Ligeti in the PayPal form that comes up), or if you’d like a premium or two in the bargain, check out the independent curators’ GoFundMe campaign (click highlighted text to open).


Musica Ricercata VII: Cantabile, molto legato
Musica Ricercata II: Mesto, rigido e cerimoniale
we could rise up rooted, like trees
Fanfares (Etude no. 4)
A … Kaleidoscopic Phantasmagory on … Ligeti’s Fanfares Etude…
Go Ask Alice
Six Bagatelles: I-III


Red-Tailed Hawk
L’escalier du diable (Devil’s Staircase – Etude no. 13)
Six Bagatelles: IV-VI
Der Sommer (Summer)
Mysteries of the Macabre


Michael Johanson
Daria Baiocchi
Gary Lloyd Noland
Antonio Celaya


John G. Bilotta
Paul Safar
Alex Shapira