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."

The Composer Premiere Concert on Monday, July 29 at 4:30pm will showcase ten world premieres by a terrific range of up-and-coming composers includingAdam Cuthbert, Erik Ian DeLuca, Alex Dowling, Stephen Feigenbaum, Ben Hjertmann, Finola Merivale, Emma O'Halloran, Brendon Randall-Myers, Max Stoffregen, and Liza Jane White. All are writing brand new music commissioned especially for the Summer Festival ensembles, to be rehearsed and then premiered at MASS MoCA on July 29.

The 12th annual Bang on a Can Marathon at MASS MoCA will feature more than fifty musicians and composers in six hours of non-stop, boundary smashing music, which closes the Festival on Saturday, August 3 from 4-10pm. Some of the many highlights of the Marathon include music by techno master Aphex Twin performed by a 20-member amplified chamber orchestra of festival musicians with guest conductor Alan Pierson of Alarm Will Sound; David Lang's These Broken Wings recently featured on the 2013 Grammy Awards; Julia Wolfe's muscular string quartet Fuel, British renegade composer Steve Martland's classicHorses of Instruction; Michael Gordon's The Sad Park for string quartet, Bang on a Can's Orchestra of Original Instruments, and much more.

Throughout the Festival, daily 1:30pm recitals offer an opportunity for the performance and composition fellows to interact with the artwork in the galleries, often playing new works created especially for the museum. Daily 4:30pm recitals feature performances by the Bang on a Can faculty and Festival ensembles. 4:30pm program highlights include: virtuoso composer-violinist Todd Reynolds (July 22); "Turning Japanese: The Bang on a Can All-Stars performing commissioned works by Somei Satoh, Mamoru Fujieda, and Akiko Ushijima (July 23); music of Michael Gordon (July 25); Music of David Lang (July 26); the Summer Festival Doublebass Quartet (July 30); and more. The 4:30 recital schedule is subject to change and the full and final schedule will be posted

The always popular (and nearly always sold out!) Kids Can Too event, a delightful morning of music that teaches kids about a variety of new instruments and sounds, will take place on Saturday, July 20, at 11:00am.

Bang on a Can takes over North Adams' Downstreet Arts on Main Street with interactive mobile music on Thursday, July 25 at 7pm.

The annual Community Concert at Windsor Lake, another city-sponsored event that draws a music-loving crowd to the only lake within North Adams city boundaries, will feature performances of fellows and faculty playing side-by-side, and will take place on Wednesday, July 31 at 7pm.

Tickets to the evening concert on July 27 and the Marathon on August 3 are $24 each. Kids Can Too tickets are $5 per person. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount on tickets to any evening event. Tickets are available at the MASS MoCA Box Office 10am-6pm daily, by phone at 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours, or online at

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