Bang on a Can Announces 2013 Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA Fellows


From July 17 through August 3, 2013, MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA) explodes with the sounds of the 12th Annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a utopian residency program dedicated entirely to the creation, study, and performance of the most adventurous music of our time. A three-week intensive of public performances, recitals, and lectures, the Festival will be attended by over 50 cutting-edge composers and performers from around the globe, including 37 fellows selected from a pool of over 250 applicants from 17 countries.

This year's fellows hail from cities across the U.S. including Portland (OR), Nashville, New York, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, and Detroit, and from countries including Australia, France, Brazil, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Canada. Since its founding in 2002, 358 musicians have attended the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, coming from over 50 countries including places as far away as Malaysia, Argentina, and Uzbekistan. For more information about this year's fellows, see their bios at the end of this press release.

The 2013 Fellows join a group of young musicians who are emerging as the next leaders of the music field. Many alumni of the Festival have founded new ensembles, new festivals, new record labels, and new bands. Bang on a Can Festival alumni include Judd Greenstein, founder of the NOW Ensemble, New Amsterdam Records, and Ecstatic Music Festival; Lauren Radnofsky, founder of Ensemble Signal; Dave Longstreth, founder of the band Dirty Projectors; Missy Mazzoli, composer and founder of the band Victoire; Anna Clyne, currently composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; David T. Little, founder of Newspeak; Jakhongir Shukurov, composer and producer of the Omnibus Festival in Uzbekistan; Olivia De Prato and Mariel Roberts, founders of MIVOS Quartet; and Matt McBane, founder of the Carlsbad Music Festival in California. For a complete list of Summer Festival Alumni, visit

The 2013 Festival faculty members are drawn from among the most innovative musicians or our time and include Gregg August (bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello), Vicky Chow (piano), David Cossin (percussion), Michael Gordon (composition), David Lang (composition), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Vicki Ray (piano), Todd Reynolds (violin), Ken Thomson, (saxophone/clarinet), Mark Stewart (guitar/ Orchestra of Original Instruments), Julia Wolfe (composition), and more special guests to be announced.

2013 Festival Highlights

The Bang on a Can All-Stars and special guests will perform Julia Wolfe's mesmerizing evening-length art ballad Steel Hammer on Saturday, July 27 at 8pm. Steel Hammer is inspired by Wolfe's love for the legends and music of Appalachia, and culls from both the music and oral traditions of the region. The text is taken from over 200 versions of the John Henry ballad - based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales - and explores the subject of human vs. machine in this quintessential American legend. Steel Hammer was runner-up for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and stretches the standard instrumentation of Bang on a Can All-Stars with wooden bones, mountain dulcimer, banjo, and more, to evoke the rich instrumental colors of Appalachia. The New York Times calls it a "wild hybrid" and an obsessive study of the song's many versions."