P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2006
June 12, 2006
Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival Celebrates Five Years at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) For the 5th consecutive year MASS MoCA and Bang on a Can will offer intensive musical training to a select group of emerging talent. Gallery visitors will find their avant garde music everywhere from July 12 through July 29 with daily recitals in the galleries at 1:30 and 4:30, a program for kids in the morning, and evening concert with the Bang on a Can All-Stars on July 22 and the always memorable Festival closing Marathon on July 29, this year with special guest Meredith Monk. They'll also take music into the community headlining the free concert at Windsor Lake on Wednesday, July 26.
"We are so pleased to have been presenting the Bang on a Can Festival of Contemporary Music for the past five years. We actually began talking to Bang on a Can before MASS MoCA opened and the annual event has certainly exceeded our wildest expectations. Every year we think: 'that was the best group of fellows' or 'that was the best Marathon' and then the next year presents us with even more than we'd thought possible," said Joseph Thompson, MASS MoCA director. "The campus just seems to explode with music during their residency - they even use our office conference room for rehearsals - and the gallery recitals have really gotten legs over the years. This year we're making it easier for music lovers to attend those daily recitals by offering a $50 festival pass which admits you to the galleries every day during the festival as well as the July 22 concert and the Marathon on the 29th."
"We can't believe it's our 5th Anniversary summer program at MASS MoCA," said Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe. "The summer program at MASS MoCA has rejuvenated Bang on a Can in many ways. It has been terrific to expand our organization to include a whole new generation of musicians and MASS MoCA has been the perfect partner for this endeavor. We have now set roots in this area of the Berkshires and have all made important and meaningful connections with community. There is a unique openness, artistic interest, and down-to earth quality to the people we meet each summer.
Wolfe continued, "The folks at MASS MoCA are true collaborators in making the program possible. At Bang on a Can we have always wanted to reconnect with the visual arts (our first marathon was at the gallery EXIT ART in Soho). The experience of making music in the MASS MoCA museum setting has inspired us to explore different ways of working - from site specific performances, to interaction with the general culture of the contemporary visual arts world. For us this cross arts connection has been very powerful. In addition, the energy that has expanded outward from the program has been tremendous - young musicians meet here, take away what they have learned, and go on to develop their own projects, ensembles, and organizations. Being in the beautiful Berkshires is no small part of it. For the majority of us urban dwellers it's a chance to breathe, dream, and develop a vision for the future."Festival Events
A music extravaganza in New York City since 1987 and in North Adams since 2001, the Bang on a Can Marathon is known for its unparalleled programming of today's most innovative new music. The Marathon on Saturday, July 29, at MASS MoCA will close out the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. The concert will include brand new work created over the course of the two-week Institute by the world-class musicians, composers, and teachers and their hand-picked students who participated. Participants will be on hand to discuss their work, including this year's featured guest: legendary performing artist and MacArthur Award winner Meredith Monk. "When the time comes, perhaps a hundred years from now, to tally up achievements in the performing arts during the last third of the present century, one name that seems sure to loom large is that of Meredith Monk. In originality, in scope, in depth, there are few to rival her," according to the Washington Post. The Albany Times Union described 2003's Marathon as "a roaring climax [to the Festival] that was consistently challenging and richly rewarding." The series of performances runs from 4 to 10 P.M. Patrons may feel free to come and go throughout the performances, stroll through the galleries between sets, or grab a bite to eat or a cool drink. The galleries will be open until 8 PM.
A perennial highlight of the Festival is the opening concert by the Bang on a Can All-Stars. They'll celebrate the anniversary by premiering Manhatta by Michael Nyman with a classic 1920's film by pioneering filmmaker Paul Strand; brand new work by contemporary jazz giant Don Byron; and new works by David Lang, Annie Gosfield and Edward Ruchalski on Saturday, July 22, at 8 P.M. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer described the All-Stars as "not a rock band, not a jazz combo, not a chamber ensemble. It's all three, only different."
Kids Can Too, a Saturday morning program for kids that introduces them to new music and new ways of making music, sells out every year. This year's performance in Club B-10 will take place on Saturday, July 22 at 11 AM.About Bang on a Can and Meredith Monk
Composers and co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe founded Bang on a Can in 1987. Their original idea was simple: to have fun with new music. Their bold programming concept incorporates performing visionary classics written two to three decades ago and pieces by composers just born at that time -- exciting music by our best known living composers and by those only starting to gain recognition. Bang on a Can has grown from a one-day festival to a multi-faceted organization. Bang on a Can aims to discover emerging composers and ensembles who are exploring new musical territories and reaching for a musical expression beyond the status quo.
During a career that spans 30 years, Meredith Monk has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts. In 1968 Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance and in 1978 she formed Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble to perform her unique vocal compositions. She has made ten recordings, most of which are with ECM New Series. Her opera, "Atlas", commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera, The Walker Art Center and The American Music Theater Festival, premiered in February 1991, toured the United States and Europe, and had its New York City premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1992. Monk has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Brandeis Creative Arts Award, three Obies (including an award for Sustained Achievement), two Villager Awards, a Bessie for Sustained Creative Achievement, the 1986 National Music Theater Award, sixteen ASCAP Awards for Musical Composition and the 1992 Dance Magazine Award.The Bang on a Can All-Stars
The Bang on a Can All-Stars are: Greg August, David Cossin, Lisa Moore, Mark Stewart, Wendy Sutter, and Evan Ziporyn. They freely cross classical, jazz, rock, world, and experimental music. This six-member ensemble from New York is known worldwide for unparalleled performances of today's most innovative music, defining styles so new they're yet to be named.
Bassist Gregg August has played with Ray Barretto, Paquito D'Rivera, Frank Wess, Branford Marsalis, James Moody, Ray Vega, and the Chico O'Farril Big Band. He has also performed with the orchestra of St. Luke's, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra, among others. He is the former principal bass of La Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona. August received degrees from the Eastman and Julliard schools.David Cossin studied classical percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. He specializes in new and experimental music, and has recorded and performed internationally with groups including Talujon Percussion Quartet, NewBand (on the Harry Partch instrumentarium), New Music Consort, Yo-Yo Ma, Tan Dun, Bo Didley, and B-blush. Numerous theater projects include Peony Pavilion, Blue Man Group, The Lion King, and Mabou Mines. Cossin was the solo percussionist for films like Fallen and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won the Academy Award for best musical score. He has performed solo concerts throughout Europe and the United States, incorporating video, electronic processing, and homemade instruments. Cossin appeared on the television shows Good Morning America and CBS' The Early Show with Yo Yo Ma.
Pianist Stephen Gosling is a ubiquitous presence on the New York new music scene, and has also performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia. His playing has been hailed as "brilliant," "electric," and "luminous and poised" (New York Times), possessing "utter clarity and conviction" (Washington Post), and "extraordinary virtuosity" (Houston Chronicle). He has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Grant Park Festival in Chicago, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Bargemusic, the 2001 Great Day in New York festival, and the PAN festival in Seoul, Korea. He is a member of both Ensemble Sospeso and the New York New Music Ensemble, and has performed with Orpheus, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, DaCapo Chamber Players, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Continuum, the League of Composers/ISCM Chamber Players, and Da Camera of Houston. Gosling has been heard on the NPR, WNYC and WQXR radio networks, and has recorded for New World Records, CRI, Mode, Innova, and Rattle Records.
Since multi-instrumentalist Mark Stewart's mother taught music, he grew up experimenting with handmade African drums, harmoniums, xylophones, guitars, banjos, violins, cellos and hundreds of others before he was in school. He studied guitar and cello during his conservatory days before moving to New York. Now he works mainly with electric guitar. He regularly performs with Fred Frith, Anthony Braxton, Steve Reich, and Zeena Parkins.
Cellist Wendy Sutter began playing at age five and made her solo debut with the Seattle Symphony at sixteen. She has participated in festivals at Marlboro, Aspen, and Evian and was awarded first prize in the Juilliard cello competition. She made her New York solo concerto debut at Avery Fisher Hall and has participated as soloist or ensemble player with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the ensemble Sospeso, the Seattle International Chamber Music Festival and New York's Music Today series. She's toured with Mikhail Baryshnikov and performed an onstage duet with him at Lincoln Center.
Clarinetist Evan Ziporyn's work is informed by his 20-year involvement with the traditional music of Bali. He is founder and director of Boston's Gamelan Galak Tika. He co-produced and arranged Bang on a Can's acclaimed recording of Brian Eno's Music for Airports. As part of the Steve Reich Ensemble, he shared a 1999 Grammy for the recording of Music for 18 Musicians. Other collaborators include the Kronos Quartet, The Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Tan Dun, Wu Man, Basso Bongo, Paul Simon and Red Fish Blue Fish. A professor at MIT, Ziporyn has also taught at the Yale School of Music, New England Conservatory, and the University of California.For Tickets
Tickets for either the concert or the Marathon are $22 each or $35 for both. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. $50 festival passes include both concerts PLUS unlimited gallery admission for recitals during festival. Tickets for Kids Can Too are $3. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily in July and August. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org. MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release