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Interview with Bianca Temeș, the artistic director of the Ligeti Festival

Monday, 29 May 2023 , ora 10.39

Mrs. Bianca Temeș, how will the title of the 4th edition of the Ligeti Festival - the intersection of the arts, will be reflected in the schedule?

Regarding the topic we choose in this edition, it will be able to be watched on several levels. We will first see this crossing of the arts in the partnerships we have established with non-musical institutions. For example, the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca or the famous TIFF film festival. We will definitely meet this marriage of arts, especially in the promoted repertoire, where we tried to choose those songs which, either by title, either by their musical substance evokes works of fine art or techniques of other arts. I'll give you some titles so you have no idea what we mean. For example, we will have Gabriel Irányi's play - "Studies from paintings by Paul Klee", also a song that evokes crystal transparency, entitled "Crystals" of Doina Rotaru or "Contrasts" of Cornel Țăranu. Songs entitled "Space bird", inspired by Brâncuși or "Pencil drawing" by Gyorgy Kurtag. So, we tried to choose those songs that would serve us the chosen theme at the centenary. We can also look for this arts marriage in several exhibitions, namely, we launched a challenge for students of the University of Art and Design to reflect in their work, of graphics, painting or sculpture the personality or music of Ligeti, because we know that Ligeti was very inspired by the fine arts and we wanted to see what the opposite path looks like, what his music evokes to a plastic artist. We are very curious and surely Ligeti would be happy to see the exhibition which is almost ready at the moment.

The festival also brings together a musicology conference. What will be the topics addressed?

Indeed, there was no edition without this musicology conference, through which we try to see from a theoretical point of view what happens at the level of the creation of the performance. Obviously, this year the conference bears a clear title in line with the theme of the festival, namely, " Ligeti, Escher, Brâncuși - from muse to music", these being elements belonging to the visual arts, which were later found in Ligeti's creation. The guests we have from Europe and the United States, top musicologists, will approach some thematic channels of great interest, I would say, namely, " The acritic of the labyrinth at Ligeti", about synesthesia, about the inspiration that Ligeti receives from the fractal geometry. Here we will again have as a guest speaker the famous mathematician Heinz-Otto Peitgen, a friend of Liget, who opened to the Transylvanian composer the access to this fascinating world of fractals, which he later translated into musical sounds. We also have works that emphasize this inspiration that Ligeti receives from Escher's graphics or Brâncuși's works. We also have some works that highlight the presence of Ligeti's music on the soundtracks of Stanley Kubrick's films.

What are the works by which the anniversary composer will be represented?

We have here a rich offer too and we tried to include in the festival program songs that would tell us about each stage of its creation, from the early one, the one during his stay in Vienna and Hamburg to the one in which he somehow turns his face to what was Eastern European music, mixing it with his amazing talent, with all kinds of influences of African, extra-European music in any case. We therefore have in the program the String Quartet no. 2 performed by the Minguet Quartet, we have Ten songs for the wind quintet, Six bagatelles for the wind quintet, a selection of piano studies performed by Thomas Hell, songs " Newvel Adventures ", not very often presented to us, Sonata for solo cello and, could not be absent at one point by the centenary, the 100 mentronomes that will beat in the opening of the concert of the U.M.Z.E. from Hungary.

More information about the festival program can be found on the http://www.ligetifestival.ro/. website

Interview by Ana Sireteanu
Translated by Bogdan-Nicolae Tănăsescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu