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Ligeti is of Hungarian ancestry and is the son of the noted composer György Ligeti (1923–2006). He holds a master's degree from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, where he studied composition with Erich Urbanner.
He travels frequently to Africa and has performed with musicians from Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Zimbabwe and several other African nations. His group, Burkina Electric, brings together electronica and Burkinabe popular music.
From 1994 to 1996 he was visiting composer at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. He has worked with Elliott Sharp, George Lewis, Henry Kaiser and Roy Nathanson.
In 2006 he was visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Compositions have been commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, the Amadinda Ensemble Budapest, Icebreaker, the London Composers' Ensemble, the Synergy Percussion Sydney, the Ensemble Modern, Kronos Quartet, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bang on a Can and others.
Ligeti has been the recipient of many awards, including the 1990 Vienna promotion award for composers, a 1993 award of the Republic of Austria and composition fellowships and grants by the Arts Council of Santa Clara County/California and the Austrian state.
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