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FROM JULY 13 – JULY 30, 2016

Festival highlights include:

Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars

John Cage’s ethereal Atlas Elipticalis

Performances of special guest composer John Luther Adams’ In a Treeless Place, Only Snow; The Light Within; & Ten Thousand Birds

Bun-Ching Lam in an East/West fusion of the delicate & the virtuosic

Solo performances by Bang on a Can All-Stars members Mark Stewart, David Cossin, Ashley Bathgate, & Vicky Chow

A 6-hour Bang on a Can Marathon featuring music  by John Luther Adams, plus Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, Ken Thomson & more

MASS MoCA | 1040 MASS MoCA Way | North Adams, Massachusetts
Tickets & Information: 413.662.2111 x1 or
More information:

Watch a Festival Preview:

(North Adams, MA & New York, NY) — From July 13 through July 30, 2016, the “relentlessly inventive” (New York Magazine) new music collective Bang on a Can collaborates with MASS MoCA to present the 15th annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA. The festival is a musical utopia for innovative musicians in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, dedicated entirely to the creation, study, and performance of adventurous contemporary music. Featuring public performances, recitals, and lectures, the festival will be attended by over 50 cutting-edge composers and performers from around the globe, including over 30 fellows selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants from around the world.

This year’s festival features special guest composer John Luther Adams, including an outdoor performance of his Ten Thousand Birds on July 28.  In addition, the Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports on July 23, and the festival will culminate on July 30 with a 6-hour Marathon concert featuring more music by John Luther Adams (In a Treeless Place, Only Snow and The Light Within) plus Steve Reich‘s Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ, Julia Wolfe‘s raucous Tell Me Everything, and a world premiere by Bang on a Can All-Stars clarinetist Ken Thomson. Other highlights include a performance presented in partnership with CECArtslink featuring talented musicians from Central Asia including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, and Uzbekistan (July 19); a performance by eighth blackbird cellist Nick Photinos with two young jazz giants, pianist Pascal LeBoeuf and bassist Matt Ulery (July 20); a concert featuring longtime Bang on a Can collaborator violinist Todd Reynolds and friends (July 22); a late-night concert by bassist Gregg August with special guests Joe Gonzalez and Ben Lapidus and a Latin Music Big Band consisting of festival fellows and guests at the American Legion bar (July 22); a performance of John Cage‘s Atlas Elipticalis (July 24); the annual World Premiere Composer Concert, featuring over 30 young performers from around the world premiering music by this year’s exciting nine composition fellows (July 25); and a 70th birthday celebration for composer Martin Bresnick (July 26). In addition, performances include Bang on a Can All-Stars clarinetist Ken Thomson in his own recently composed work, plus classics by Steve Reich and Louis Andriessen (July 13); Bang on a Can All-Stars guitarist Mark Stewart and friends (July 14); Bang on a Can All-Stars percussionist David Cossin in Alvin Lucier’s atmospheric Still and Moving Lines in Silence in Families of Hyperbolas (July 15); Bang on a Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow performing music by Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe, plus a world premiere by composer Chris Cerrone (July 23); and Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate in Bach Unwound (July 28).

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. Kids Can Too!, a popular, interactive workshop for children and families, will be held on Saturday, July 16 at 11:30am. On July 27 at 7pm, the festival heads to Windsor Lake for a free, outdoor community concert.

Since its founding in 2002, over 400 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. Alumni of the Festival are emerging leaders in the new music field. Many 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, recently 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.

The 2016 Festival faculty members are drawn from among the most innovative musicians or our time, including Gregg August (bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello), Vicky Chow (piano), David Cossin (percussion), Michael Gordon (composition), David Lang (composition), Brad Lubman (conducting), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Todd Reynolds (violin), Mark Stewart (electric guitar), Ken Thomson, (saxophone/clarinet), and Julia Wolfe (composition).

Ticket Information:

Individual tickets to the evening concert on July 23 and the Marathon on July 30 are $24 each for preferred seating; $18 the day of; $12 for students, Bang on a Can alumni, and in advance; and $5 for members. Kids Can Too! tickets are $5 per person for members and $8 for non-members. The best way to Bang is with a MASS MoCA membership, which offers free gallery admission and $5 concert tickets! The remaining concerts are free with museum admission. Tickets are available at the MASS MoCA Box Office 11am-5pm daily, by phone at 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours, or online at

Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA

1:30pm: Fellows | 4:30pm: Faculty

Wednesday, July 13, 4:30pm – Ken Thomson “40 Years Recital” – Featuring recently composed music performed by Ken and colleagues, and classics by Steve Reich and Louis Andriessen; special guests include master percussionist Doug Perkins

Thursday  July 14, 4:30pm – Mark Stewart and friends

Friday, July 15, 1:30pm – Festival fellows and African Drumming Master Nani Agbeli perform outdoors in the MASS MoCA courtyard

Friday, July 15, 4:30pm – David Cossin performs Alvin Lucier’s atmospheric Still and Moving Lines in Silence in Families of Hyperbolas

Saturday, July 16, 11:30am – KIDS CAN TOO! A performance for families

Saturday, July 16, 4:30pm – gallery recital tba

Monday July 18, 4:30pm – Gregg August and friends perform music by Ornette Coleman, a new piece by Gregg for double bass and cello, and more

Tuesday July 19, 4:30pm – Bang on a Can celebrates many years of partnering with CECArtslink and talented musicians from Central Asia. The performance will include musicians from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, and Uzbekistan performing traditional music as well as new collaboratively composed works on instruments such as the Kyl-kobyz, Komuz, Temir, Zhygach ooz, Tanbur, Rubab, and Dutar.

Wednesday, July 20, 4:30pm – Cellist Nick Photinos, of the new music ensemble eighth blackbird, presents a recital with friends featuring the works of two young jazz giants, pianist Pascal LeBoeuf and bassist Matt Ulery

Thursday July 21, 4:30pm – The music of Bang on a Can co-founders and co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe performed by festival fellows and faculty

Friday July 22, 4:30pm – Todd Reynolds and friends

Friday July 22, 10pm – Free concert in downtown North Adams: Gregg August with special guests Joe Gonzalez and Ben Lapidus lead a Latin Music Big Band consisting of festival fellows and guests at the American Legion bar

Saturday, July 23, 4:30pm – Pianist Vicky Chow plays compositions by Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe, plus a world premiere by composer Chris Cerrone

Saturday, July 23, 8pm – BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS PLAY BRIAN ENO: MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS. The All-Stars bring Eno’s pioneering ambient work from the 1970s to life in an expanded performance that includes an orchestra of festival fellows. The concert will also feature new entries in the All-Stars’ Field Recordings project –  new music interwoven around archival recordings – including works by Roomful of Teeth’s Caroline Shaw, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Gabriella Smith, Rene Lussier, and more.

Saturday, July 24, 4:30pm – Fellows and faculty perform John Cage’s monumentally ethereal Atlas Elipticalis

Monday, July 25, 4:30pm – WORLD PREMIERE COMPOSER CONCERT! Over 30 young performers from around the world debut festival work by this year’s exciting nine composition fellows.

Tuesday, July 26, 4:30pm – Martin Bresnick’s expressive and direct music has influenced a generation of composers, including many Bang on a Can regulars. Come celebrate his 70th birthday.

Wednesday, July 27, 4:30pm – Born in Macau and now splitting her time between Paris and Poestenkill, composer Bun-Ching Lam spins an East/West fusion of the delicate and the virtuosic

Wednesday, July 27, 7pm – CONCERT AT THE LAKE Bang on a Can’s annual blow-out avant-variety show. Bring a blanket!

Thursday, July 28, 4:30pm – Ashley Bathgate performs Bach Unwound, an energetic piece for solo cello, written by the Sleeping Giant collective.

Thursday, July 28, 4:30pm -– A special outdoor performance of Ten Thousand Birds, by the renowned John Luther Adams.

July 28 & 29, 10pm – AFTER HOURS AT THE CHALET Spontaneous music with the fellows in our summer beer garden, which careens wildly from bluegrass to jazz to salsa to avant-ballads.

Friday, July 29, 4:30pm – Music for percussion by John Luther Adams

Saturday, July 30, 4–10pm – BANG ON A CAN MARATHON – The 6-hour festival finale featuring music by Bang on a Can’s special guest composer, eco-revolutionary John Luther Adams – including In a Treeless Place, Only Snow and The Light Within – plus a rare performance of Steve Reich’s early classic Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ, Julia Wolfe’s raucous Tell Me Everything, a world premiere by Bang on a Can All-Star and festival favorite, Ken Thomson, and much more.

About Bang on a Can: Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new. Since its first Marathon concert in 1987, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. With adventurous programs, it commissions new composers, performs, presents, and records new work, develops new audiences, and educates the musicians of the future. Bang on a Can is building a world in which powerful new musical ideas flow freely across all genres and borders. Bang on a Can plays “a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn’t concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come” (The New York Times).

“When we started Bang on a Can in 1987, in an art gallery in SoHo, we never imagined that our one-day, 12-hour marathon festival of mostly unknown music would morph into a giant international organization dedicated to the support of experimental music, wherever we would find it,” write Bang on a Can Co-Founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. “But it has, and we are so gratified to be still hard at work, all these years later. The reason is really clear to us – we started this organization because we believed that making new music is a utopian act—that people needed to hear this music and they needed to hear it presented in the most persuasive way, with the best players, with the best programs, for the best listeners, in the best context. Our commitment to changing the environment for this music has kept us busy and growing for the last 27 years, and we are not done yet.”

Current projects include the annual Bang on a Can Marathon; The People’s Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world every year; recording projects; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, a professional development program for young composers and performers led by today’s pioneers of experimental music; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can’s extreme street band that offers mobile performances re-contextualizing unusual music; Found Sound Nation, a new technology-based musical outreach program now partnering with the State Department of the United States of America to create OneBeat, a revolutionary, post-political residency program that uses music to bridge the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries; cross-disciplinary collaborations and projects with DJs, visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and more. Each new program has evolved to answer specific challenges faced by today’s musicians, composers and audiences, in order to make innovative music widely accessible and wildly received. Bang on a Can’s inventive and aggressive approach to programming and presentation has created a large and vibrant international audience made up of people of all ages who are rediscovering the value of contemporary music.

About MASS MoCA: MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative. MASS MoCA’s galleries are open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. In the summer months, the galleries are open 10am to 6pm every day. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally. Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit

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