Composer György Ligeti considered his polyrhythmic Piano Concerto his most complex and technically arduous score.
Pianist Conor Hanick calls it a masterpiece.
The Chatter regular will perform the piece at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 15, at Las Puertas Event Center. His performance here advances a date with the same piece for the New York Philharmonic Biennial at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in June.
The composer scored his formidable concerto with a reduced orchestra augmented by unusual instruments such as a harmonica, slide whistles and an ocarina, a kind of vessel flute.
“About a handful of pianists play this piece because it is so treacherous,” Hanick said in a telephone interview from New York.
In the vanguard of the avant-garde, Ligeti was writing in post-World War II Europe. Born in Romania, he lived in Hungary before immigrating to Austria in 1956 after the Soviet Union’s violent oppression of the Hungarian revolution.