Wednesday 29.03.2023 19:00 — 20:00
ArtLab Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics

Piano Concert "Musical Vertigo"

Visual for the event series "Ligeti 100"

The MPIEA is pleased to host a four-part concert series in 2023 celebrating the 100th anniversary of György Ligeti's birth with our research director and renowned pianist Fredrik Ullén.

György Ligeti was one of the greatest and most influential composers of the late 20th century. His highly individual compositions display an astonishingly wide range of influences, from Western and non-Western music, to art, literature, science and mathematics. His music combines intellectual sophistication with a remarkable expressivity and emotional power, and reached an unusually wide audience through its use by filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Among Ligeti’s works for solo instruments, the etudes for piano occupy a special position, and are generally recognized as one of the stellar achievements of the modern piano literature.

In 2023, the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics will join the music world in celebrating the 100th anniversary of György Ligeti’s birth, with a series of four lecture-concerts during the year. The events will present several of Ligeti’s most important works, including his complete piano music, performed by the Institute’s Director Fredrik Ullén, who made the world première recording of Ligeti’s second book of piano etudes.

Part 01: Musical Vertigo

Wednesday, March 29, 7 p.m., ArtLab concert hall / Livestream on YouTube


Introductory talk about Ligeti and his music by Fredrik Ullén

György Ligeti – Etudes for Piano, Book II (1988–1994)

Galamb borong
Der Zauberlehrling
En suspens
L’escalier du diable
Coloana infinită


Fredrik Ullén, piano


The event will be held in English. After the concert the on-site audience is cordially invited to a small reception with drinks and snacks. The concert will take about one hour. Admission is free. Due to the limited number of seats, we kindly ask you to register in advance at

The concert will be streamed in parallel on the MPIEA's YouTube channel.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail or by phone at 069 8300479-652.

About the perfomer:

Fredrik Ullén is an internationally active concert pianist since the 90s, with solo recitals e.g. at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (Hamburg), Dinard International Music Festival (Dinard, France), Risör Chamber Music Festival (Risör, Norway), Georg Enescu Festival (Bucarest), Rarities of Piano Music Festival (Husum, Germany), Taubman Piano Festival (Williamstown, USA), Istanbul Recitals (Istanbul),  Båstad Chamber Music Festival (Båstad, Sweden), Nordlyd Music Festival (Trondheim, Norway), Tallinn International Piano Festival (Tallinn), Numus Festival (Århus, Denmark), PerPiano Festival (Marche, Italy), Leipzig Gewandhaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, New York, Chicago, Paris, Budapest, Helsinki, Dublin, Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm New Music Festival, Stockholm Electron Music Festival; two national Swedish tours arranged by Concerts Sweden. His discography currently includes 25 titles, including a recording of the complete piano works of György Ligeti and a recent complete recording of Sorabji’s "Transcendental Studies", one of the largest cycles written for solo piano.

In April 2021, Fredrik Ullén has been appointed Director of the Department of "Cognitive Neuropsychology" at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


The next dates of this concert series are already set:

  •     Part 02: Articulations – Wednesday, June 21, 7 p.m.
  •     Part 03: Magical Machines – Wednesday, October 11, 7 p.m.
  •     Part 04: Roots and Relations – Wednesday, December 13, 7 p.m.


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