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    David Lang
Photo © James Poke

"There is no name yet for this kind of music" writes Mark Swed about David Lang, the provocative American composer. Co-Founder of New York's legendary new music festival, Bang on a Can, Lang is one of the most interesting crop of young Americans. His distinct sound fuses the tradition of classical music with urban aggressiveness, where melodies are accompanied by noise and subtle harmonies are pulled apart by pounding rhythms. Commissioned by such organizations as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Singers, the American Composers Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera, Lang's works are showing up with regularity around the world: at the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic; at the Tanglewood, the Aspen Music Festival, the Almeida, Holland, Berlin and Huddersfield festivals; the Munich Biennale; in the choreography of Twyla Tharp; in theater productions in New York, San Francisco and London; and at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and the South Bank Centre. Along with fellow Bang on a Can composers Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe, Lang was commissioned by the Settembre Musica Festival in Turin, Italy to create a new comic-book opera, The Carbon Copy Building, in collaboration with comic-strip artist Ben Katchor. The revolutionary new opera premiered in Turin, Italy on 9 September 1999.

David Lang's awards include the Rome Prize, the BMW Music-Theater Prize (Munich), a Kennedy Center/Friedheim Award, the Revson Fellowship with the New York Philharmonic, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2008 Lang was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music with his piece, The Little Match Girl Passion, based on the children's story by Hans Christian Andersen.

Born in Los Angeles in 1957, Lang holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of Iowa, receiving his doctorate from the Yale School of Music in 1989. He has studied with Jacob Druckman, Hans Werner Henze, and Martin Bresnick. David Lang's music is published by Red Poppy (ASCAP) and distributed by G. Schirmer, Inc.

Memory Pieces (1992-97)

cage (in memory of John Cage)
Recorded at Other Minds 6, March 16, 2000
performed by Aki Takahashi, piano


spartan arcs (in memory of Yvar Mikhashoff)
Recorded at Other Minds 6, March 16, 2000
performed by Aki Takahashi, piano


wed (in memory of Kate Ericson)
Recorded at Other Minds 6, March 16, 2000
performed by Aki Takahashi, piano


grind (in memory of Jacob Druckman)
Recorded at Other Minds 6, March 16, 2000
performed by Aki Takahashi, piano


diet coke (in memory of Bette Snapp)
Recorded at Other Minds 6, March 16, 2000
performed by Aki Takahashi, piano


cello (in memory of Anna Cholakian)
Recorded at Other Minds 6, March 16, 2000
performed by Aki Takahashi, piano