So Percussion and Caroline Shaw perform two new projects together: the song cycle "Narrow Sea," and a selection of new collaborative songs.
Past Shows (view list of upcoming shows)
Theater Freiburg presents the German premiere of Donnacha Dennehy's The Last Hotel.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars and Houston Chamber Choir present: Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields is a lovingly detailed oratorio with original video about turn-of-the-20th-century Pennsylvania coal miners, awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music. This haunting, timely work draws on oral histories, interviews, speeches, geographic descriptions, children’s rhymes, and coal advertisements to provide an intimate look at a particular slice of American life. The always-adventurous Bang on a Can All-Stars join Da Camera’s frequent artistic collaborators from Houston Chamber Choir.
Bang on a Can announces the launch of LONG PLAY, a new, three-day destination music festival, presented for the first time from Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 3, 2020. Featuring dozens of concerts, LONG PLAY also showcases a dense network of pioneering music venues in Brooklyn – with performances at BAM, Roulette, Public Records, ShapeShifter Lab, Littlefield, Brooklyn Music School, BAM Lepercq Space, outdoor events at The Plaza at 300 Ashland, and more. Festival passes and special early bird offers will be available starting on December 16, 2019 at longplayfestival.org.
Bang on a Can’s Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, say:
“For over 30 years, Bang on a Can has dedicated itself to working the frontier – bringing together the most innovative voices in music and building new audiences for new work. Right now – this minute – is an amazing time to be a musician. Musicians from every corner of the music world are pushing beyond their boundaries, questioning their roots, searching and stretching for the new. There has never been a time when music contained so much innovation and diversity, so much audacity and so much courage. And we want to show you all of it. With the creation of LONG PLAY we are presenting more kinds of musicians, playing more kinds of music, bending more kinds of minds. LONG PLAY expands and enlarges our scope and our reach, and puts more new faces on stages than ever before. It's a lot of music!”
Fueled by more than three decades of Marathon concerts, LOUD Weekend at Mass MoCA, countless world tours and staged productions, Bang on a Can’s LONG PLAY is a supercharged ride through right now – for musicians and audiences alike.
With an expansive sonic imagination and “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker) So Percussion has redefined the scope of the percussion ensemble. Making its Annenberg Center debut, the group offers innovative interpretations of modern works by Dessner, Lansky and Cage as well as new compositions by Penn students. “Through a mix of consummate skill and quirky charm, this mercurial quartet has helped to ignite an explosive new enthusiasm for percussion music old and new.” (The New York Times)
Bang on a Can brings new music from its provocative, wide-ranging multi-media project Field Recordings to the Coolidge. Seeking “inquisitive and unconventional” musical thinkers, BoaC founders Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon and David Lang conceived a project they describe as “rooted in mystery and experimentation.” “We asked composers from different parts of the music world to find a recording of something that already exists,” Lang says, “a voice, a sound, a faded scrap of melody—and then write a new piece around it.” Archival audio, found sound and video have inspired this interesting program of recent pieces by ten imaginative composers—with Julia Wolfe’s Mink Stole, a 1997 Library of Congress commission, as an opener.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars are recognized worldwide for their ultra-dynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. Freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world, and experimental music, this eclectic six-member ensemble has consistently forged a distinct category-defying identity, taking music into uncharted territories for the last 30+ years.
"Whatever you want to call this kind of music, whatever genre you feel that it fits most appropriately, time will remember it as a quietly dazzling companion piece to a bold reimagining of historical cinema."—PopMatters
Paul D. Miller, also known as DJ Spooky, has taken his talents remixing sound and music for the club scene, and applied them to a new medium: film.
Inspired by D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation—a breakthrough in the early days of cinema that earned Griffith much scorn due to its racist subject matter and crude stereotyping—Miller's recasting and remixing of this cinematic work has toured the world. Rebirth of a Nation was originally written for the acclaimed Kronos Quartet, and will be brought to life on the Bing stage by the Catalyst Quartet. Born out of the Sphinx Ensemble in Detroit, the Catalyst are committed to playing new works by composers of color.
JULIA WOLFE Forbidden Love
JASON TREUTING Amid the Noise
Powerhouse new-music ensemble Sō Percussion makes their Dallas debut performing the Texas premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Forbidden Love and joins students from across Dallas to perform the signature piece Amid the Noise by the ensemble’s own Jason Treuting. Wolfe’s composition brings the string quartet into the percussion realm, and the final work is a communal music-making project, featuring musicians of the DSO Young Strings Program, which maintains its identity and integrity through wildly different realizations.
Amid the Noise is “a remarkably beautiful and atmospheric work for an ensemble based around instruments that are, almost by definition, more visceral than ethereal. “ – All About Jazz
Superstar Chinese fusion singer Gong Linna sets new lyrics to centuries-old Chinese melodies backed by the musicians of Bang on a Can. Gong’s husband, German composer Robert Zollitsch (Lao Luo), composes many of the brilliantly staged pieces. In 2010, Linna’s performance of the song "Tan Te" on Chinese national television to billions of viewers made her an overnight sensation, vaulting her to celebrity status. In recent years she has starred on television in China but she remains virtually unknown to the Western world. We are thrilled to have her as part of Stanford Live’s 2019–20 season.
So Percussion performs David Lang’s man made concerto with the Cincinatti Symphony! Also, we reprise our improvised decorations on Lully’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, which we first performed with the Mostly Mozart festival orchestra.
LULLY: Le Bourgeois gentilhomme Suite
DAVID LANG: man made
SEBASTIAN CURRIER: New Work [World Premiere, CSO Commission]
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 8
Bang on a Can started by imagining a kind of utopia for music—and then they started to build it. Building a utopia is a political act that pushes people to change, but it can also keep them apart. Now more than ever, Bang on a Can is committed to growing a worldwide community dedicated to innovation through music. This concert at the Bing seeks to demonstrate an open, welcoming, and inclusive space for music and ideas from a wide variety of styles. It features work from co-founders Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Michael Gordon alongside compositions by jazz giant Ornette Coleman, young pioneer Anna Clyne, and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore.
Hearing a new work from Michael Gordon, one of the founders of Bang on a Can, is always an eagerly anticipated event. Hearing it performed by a cutting-edge cellist and a “luminous and acute” (The New York Times) chorus makes it a concert you won’t want to miss. The rhythmic innovations of Gordon’s music are merged with what The New Yorker describes as “the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz, and the intransigence of classical modernism.” Experience something new and adventurous from Gordon, who spent part of his childhood living outside of Nicaragua’s capital city.
Hailed as “superb” (The New York Times) and “ardently angelic,” (The Los Angeles Times) The Crossing is a multiple Grammy® Award-winning, Philadelphia-based new music choir conducted by Donald Nally. Known for its commitment to thought-provoking new works, The Crossing brings the “reigning queen of the avant-garde cello” (The Washington Post) Maya Beiser to Philadelphia for the world premiere of Michael Gordon’s A Travel Guide to Nicaragua. Gordon spent his childhood living in Nicaragua, and the piece reflects his memories and musings on the culture, as well as insights from Mark Twain’s writings of a trip through the small, beautiful country.
Lisa Moore, formidable pianist who has linked her name to the main exponents of the new music of our times, will make us know in a spectacular and engaging way, with a surprising and completely out of the ordinary recital, the constant and stimulating combination of music and images , between music and theatrical happening, which has characterized a lot of contemporary production with its inventions. Through pages of Philip Glass, John Adams, György Ligeti, Frederic Rzewski and the young but already well-known Missy Mazzoli we will witness the enchanting fusion of sounds, gestures, colors, movements.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars and Chorus Pro Musica present: A Pulitzer Prize–winning oratorio about coal miners at the turn of the 20th century, Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields combines folk, rock, and classical genres in what the Los Angeles Times called “an unforgettably haunting, harrowing evocation of the plight of Pennsylvania’s coal miners, incorporating many musical styles and effectively shadowy visuals.”
The most American of French choreographers returns to pay tribute to the music of Bach in a piece carried by twelve exceptional dancers.
Benjamin Millepied sails with a disconcerting inspiration between classic and contemporary and explores these two genres with glee. He overturns the codes in a dance with a charming singularity, all in elegance and fluidity, punctuated by group choreographies of crazy power and served by the unfailing commitment of all his magnificent company.
An evening of Steve Reich and Bryce Dessner in Paris!
The adventurous and highly celebrated New York quartet So Percussion presents three pieces by Steve Reich alongside a unique piece by Bryce Dessner that features an instrument specially invented for the composition.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars perform Field Recordings at the Walled City Music Festival in Derry UK!
The Bang on a Can All-Stars perform on the 2020 Pulsar Festival in Copenhagen Denmark.
Danish Music Conservatory's PULSAR Festival featuring a new work by American composer Julia Wolfe.
The work is commissioned jointly by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the DR Symphony Orchestra and features one of the festival's main names, the dynamic NewYorker ensemble Bang on a Can All Stars as soloists. Also experience the premier performances of the Conservatory's young composers, who give their widely different suggestions on how orchestral music should sound in the 21st century.
The event is free and requires no registration.
“Monk may loom even larger as the new century unfolds, and later generations will envy those who got to see her live.”
–Alex Ross, The New Yorker
In this concert version of revolutionary American artist Meredith Monk’s latest music-theater work, she shares her genius in discovery and innovation. Cellular Songs turns to the very fabric of life itself, exploring our interdependent relationship with nature and looking to its underlying systems as inspiration for human behavior in our tumultuous world. Performed by Monk with the women of her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble, this concert features some of Monk’s most adventurous and daring music for the voice to date, paired with violin, piano and keyboard.
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble consists of some of the finest and most adventurous performers active in new music. Founded in 1978 to further expand Monk’s groundbreaking exploration of the human voice, the Ensemble has received multiple awards and critical acclaim.
Meredith Monk, voice and keyboard
Ellen Fisher, voice
Katie Geissinger, voice
Allison Sniffin, voice, violin and keyboard
Jo Stewart, voice
Bearthoven joins the musicians and composers of Experiments in Opera in a workshop featuring a first look at the new opera being generated by the Experiments in Opera Writers’ Room (Title TBD). The Untitled Writers’ Room Opera (Part One) includes the first three episodes of a longer ten-episode piece that will receive its full premiere in the spring of 2021 as part of EiO’s 10th Anniversary Celebration. The new opera is about an aspiring artist who grapples first with her father’s suicide and then with the unexpected fame of his paintings which become celebrated as “outsider art.” The three episodes included in Part One of this opera will be composed by Jason Cady, Pauline Kim and Phil Kline, based on librettos by Jason Cady, Jerome Parker and Lauren D’Errico.
An additional opera (TBD) will be workshopped on the final two days of this weeklong project.
New York City Master Chorale presents the second concert of its 2019/20 season.
Dusty Francis, Artistic Director
Program features a cappella octavos anchored by David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning titular composition.
An extraordinary work, David Lang’s the little match girl passion explores the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name. As a community, we experience this story in a narrative form modeled on J.S. Bach’s passions. The suffering of the ‘match girl’ is transfigured; is elevated and transformed into hope. It asks both singers and audience to reflect on the suffering of all those who are vulnerable in our society. It encourages us to come face to face with the sorrow and suffering of others, and to consider how we might respond. We perform this masterpiece of the 21st century in support of Care for Real, which serves the Edgewater neighborhood.
So Percussion at Williams College - The Quartet Reimagined. Works by Reich, Wolfe, Dessner, Viet Cuong, and Susan Marshall.
Bang on a Can All-Stars perform on the New Music Dublin festival!
Julia Wolfe: Believing
David Lang: sunray
Philip Glass: Closing
Steve Martland: Horses of Instruction
More info coming soon
The Bang on a Can All-Stars join the BBC Concert Orchestra and Principal Conductor Bramwell Tovey for the UK premiere of Flower Power, a new work from Pulitzer prize-winning American composer Julia Wolfe.
In her new work, Wolfe draws on the energy generated by a radical revolutionary moment - the late 1960s - a time when experimental ideas and questions permeated all parts of the political, social and artistic landscapes. This shift brought new spiritual and intellectual explorations, a breakdown of social norms, psychedelic visions, artistic explosion, and a greater and more open expression of love and peace.
The programme also includes English and American minimalism in orchestral form by Steve Martland, John Adams and Philip Glass.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture from Prometheus
Lera Auerbach: Arctica
John Luther Adams: The Light that Fills the World
Claude Debussy: La mer
Joshua Weilerstein, conductor
Lera Auerbach, piano
Oslo Philharmonic Choir
Øystein Fevang choir conductor
Bearthoven: New Works ft. Popebama LIVE at LPR
6:30 PM doors | 7:30 PM show | 18+
Table Seating: $25 advance, $30 day of show
Standing Room: $15 advance, $20 day of show
More info: https://bit.ly/2Qsbz4o
Julia Wolfe Believing
Kate Moore Ridgeway
Philip Glass Closing
Steve Martland Horses of Instruction
Steve Reich 2×5
Robert Black bass
Vicky Chow piano
David Cossin percussion
Mark Stewart guitar
Ken Thomson clarinet
Arlen Hlusko cello
with Musicians from the RNCM
Formed in 1992, the Bang on a Can All-Stars are recognised worldwide for their ultra-dynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. Freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, this six-member amplified ensemble has consistently forged a distinct category-defying identity, taking music into uncharted territories. Performing each year across the globe, the All-Stars have shattered the definition of what concert music is today.
RNCM students join BOAC for an all live (so 10 musicians) version of Steve Reich’s unapologetic and startling piece, originally written for Kraftwerk’s opening night appearance at Manchester International Festival 2009, at the Velodrome. The Guardian described that gig as ‘a sly and subversive – but best of all, fun – celebration of modernism and modernity. Truly wonderful…’
Bearthoven returns to Bowling Green State University’s ‘Music at the Forefront’ Series to perform a new work by Michael Gordon. a blistering new amplified work by Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon alongside Sarah Hennies’s subdued, otherworldly Spectral Malsconcities, which was composed for Bearthoven in 2018.
Michael Gordon - Mixed Tulips (2020)
Sarah Hennies - Spectral Malsconcities (2018)
Boasting a “rich, pliant, full-bodied” style that transports audiences “to the heart of dance itself” (The New York Times), Richard Alston Dance Company returns to Peak Performances for its final American engagement before the company closes its doors after more than 25 years. A selection of recent works highlights the unflagging invention of this beloved group, led by Richard Alston, one of the world’s finest choreographers currently celebrating his 50th year of making dances. Performed to live music, Alston’s witty Brahms Hungarian is presented alongside Shine On, the last piece the choreographer will create for the company. The fast-paced Detour, created by associate choreographer Martin Lawrance, rounds out a thrilling program that celebrates a troupe still in top form, even as the curtain closes.
Bearthoven - Karl Larson (piano), Pat Swoboda (bass), Matt Evans (percussion)
Described by the New Yorker as one of the ‘vital institutions’ of the NYC contemporary music scene, Bearthoven will present two of their most substantial commissions to date in their Chicago debut at Constellation on February 20. The piano / bass / percussion trio’s program features Mixed Tulips, a blistering new amplified work by Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon, alongside Sarah Hennies’s subdued, otherworldly Spectral Malsconcities, which was composed for Bearthoven in 2018.
“One of New York’s Vital Institutions” - New Yorker (Steve Smith)
“Telepathic, out-of-this-world” - The Observer (Brad Cohen)
“Bearthoven is not just a piano, a bass and some drums — it seems greater than the sum of its parts; a kind of chameleon that is both the subject and the object of the creative process, a synergistic unit that informs and becomes the art that is created at its behest.”- ICAREIFYOULISTEN (Cristian Kriegeskotte)
COMPOSER PORTRAIT: OSCAR BETTISON
Pale Icons of Night (2018) New York premiere
Livre des Sauvages (2012)
Alarm Will Sound returns to Miller Theatre at Columbia University with the music of Oscar Bettison featuring the NY premiere of Pale Icons of Night, a violin concerto written for AWS violinist Courtney Orlando. Oscar Bettison has an affinity for inventing instruments from found material and for reimagining the roles of existing instruments, and his music explores the boundaries of pitch and noise, classical and rock, convention and invention. Bettison’s work has been described as possessing “an unconventional lyricism and a menacing beauty” (WNYC).
APERIO, Music of the Americas presents a unique multimedia program featuring recent and world premiere works for voice, piano and percussion by American composers David Lang and Shawn Crouch. The program begins with David Lang’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning oratorio The Little Match Girl Passion. Scored for only four solo voices - soprano, alto, tenor, and bass with additional percussion played by the vocal ensemble - the music traverses a cathartic experience of suffering and transformation told through Hans Christen Andersen’s fantastically dark children’s tale by the same name.
Considered a pivotal piece in Lang’s recent output, The Little Match Girl Passion signifies an inward looking compositional style that embraces historical precedents such as Bach’s choral works and a capella motets. Washington Post music critic Tim Page described the work as “a pristine and immaculately distilled setting…deeply felt without ever delving into sentimentality, absolutely simple yet leaving nothing out.” Pitchfork Magazine praised The Little Match Girl Passion as “the most profound and resonant work of Lang’s career” describing the music as “breathtakingly spare and icily gorgeous.”
Acclaimed by The New Yorker as “an American Master,” Composer David Lang is part visionary sound artist, part musical mad scientist. With one foot in the classical tradition and one in the future, his music explores meaning and musical relationships in a way that is at once fiercely intellectual and plain-spoken. Join the U-M Chamber Choir, under the direction of Eugene Rogers, for a stunning performance of Lang's Pulitzer-Prize winning work, the little match girl passion. The New York Times describes this touching work as “understated and ethereal… tender and mysterious.” The performance on February 18 will be the opening event of his week-long William Bolcom Guest Residency at the University of Michigan, which will feature performances of his music and other events across campus.
Alarm Will Sound’s St. Louis season ends on May 15th at the Sheldon Concert Hall with a world premiere of music co-created by Allison Loggins-Hull and Toshi Reagon, recipients of support from the Matt Marks Impact Fund. About the new work, Love Always, Loggins-Hull says, “When my son was 4, he had a teacher who brought up Michael Brown’s story during class and throughout the day my son exclaimed that he was afraid of the police. It taught me that despite my son’s very young age and innocence, we were going to have to have these conversations with him sooner than we had hoped.” Ms. Loggins-Hull discovered she could communicate more clearly with her son through letters, following in the tradition of other African-Americans who have done the same. These texts will serve as the foundation for Love Always.
Caroline Shaw & Sō Percussion
New Songs (title TBA)
plus recent works by Jason Treuting, Ninfea Crutwell-Reade, Wally Gunn, and others.
Man as a dreamer would rather withdraw into his own visions, far from the hectic reality. In this dream program, pearls from French choral music will be featured alongside still works by David Lang. The music of David Lang (winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2008) finds an increasingly large audience. It is not without reason that our program Again and Again with music by Lang in 2018 was well appreciated. Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns are among the most loved French composers of all time and take you to another world in these dreamy works. The Psalm symphonyfinally, perhaps the most magical sound of the widely admired psalm 150 by one of the most visionary dreamers in 20th-century music history: Igor Stravinsky. Due to its composition, this program is a fantastic introduction for new listeners to choral music.
Grand Band is a unique musical ensemble that includes six pianos arranged in a circle and played by “the finest, busiest pianists active in New York’s contemporary-classical scene” (The New York Times). The sextet engulfs the audience in the sonic intensity of four landmark contemporary works: the iconic and massive Gay Guerilla by cult underground figure Julius Eastman; the pulsating Sensitive Spot by Australian sound artist Kate Moore; and my lips from speaking, a riff on Aretha Franklin’s Think by Pulitzer-winning composer Julia Wolfe. In a thrilling combination of sight and sound, Missy Mazzoli’s Three Fragile Systems is enhanced by the debut of an animated film by Joshua Frankel. In this film, commissioned by Peak Performances, Frankel builds a world of geometry, color, and looping patterns of human bodies created collaboratively with choreographer Faye Driscoll, heightening the experience of the music.
So Percussion and Caroline Shaw perform two new projects together: the song cycle "Narrow Sea," and a selection of new collaborative songs.
Unplug and recharge your batteries during a 60-minute guided, live music meditation every Friday, starting January 17 through March 6. This edition will feature classical pianist Lisa Moore and Colombian composer Julián De La Chica.