concert and lecture
BMC Library


Katalin Koltai, guitarist started her PhD research in 2018 as a funded researcher of the az International Guitar Research Centre, University of Surrey, working with Prof. Stephen Goss. The primary purpose of her research is to expand the boundaries of the guitar idiom through three pathways: guitar arrangements, technological innovation and collaboration with composers.
One of the most significant results of her research is the invention and application of a new magnet capo system and a new guitar prototype, the ‘Ligeti Guitar’. This innovation process was significantly driven by arranging modernist Hungarian piano music, in particular György Ligeti’s piano cycle, the Musica Ricercata. Ligeti’s compositional technique of pitch sets and the guitar’s transformation of open string sets can be seen as a cross-domain translation in the arrangement process.
The selected arrangements of Musica Ricercata demonstrate radically new idiomatic affordances on the guitar, similarly to the complex multi-layered, cluster-based piece of Béla Bartók, The Night’s Music. The programme also includes the word premier of two new compositions written for this special instrument.Tom Armstrong’s Bartókiana is a cycle of pieces for the Ligeti Guitar. The ability to alter the open string notes of the instrument creates a very flexible medium that can be adapted to Béla Bartók’s unmistakable musical language with its chromatic and often highly dissonant harmony. The selections of Bartók’s music are all folksong settings, one each from the main territories he collected in: Slovakia, North Africa, Romania and Hungary. In selecting music from the main ethnic areas Bartók studied Armstrong hopes to mirror his polyglot ideals; in our own time the world seems in danger of retreating into various hues of separatism and individualism so the contents of Bartókiana are an attempt to accent diversities that nevertheless remain linked by common bonds. David Gorton’s Six Miniatures uses different arrangements of capos within a common microtonal tuning for the guitar, in effect creating a different ‘instrument’ for each movement. The six movements explore contrasting fragmentary ideas suggested by the individual characters of the different instrumental configurations.



Free entry! Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Supported by: National Cultural Fund of Hungary
Organised by: TRansparent Sound New Music Festival, Pro Progressione


  • The Night’s Music
  • Bartókiana
  • Musica Ricercata no. 1,2,7
  • Six Miniatures


  • Samu Gryllus
  • Katalin Koltai


  • Katalin Koltai - guitar