György Ligeti (1923-2006) was a Hungarian-Austrian composer of contemporary classical music. He has been described as "one of the most important avant-garde composers in the latter half of the twentieth century" and "one of the most innovative and influential among progressive figures of his time". Born in Transylvania, Romania, he lived in the Hungarian People's Republic before emigrating to Austria in 1956. In 1973 he became professor of composition at the Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater, where he worked until retiring in 1989. He died in Vienna in 2006. After experimenting with electronic music in Cologne,Germany, his breakthrough came with orchestral works such as Atmosphères, for which he used a technique he later dubbed micropolyphony. After writing Le grand macabre, Ligeti shifted away from chromaticism and towards polyrhythm for his later works. He is best known by the public through the use of his music in film soundtracks.