• Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012

    David Lang Appointed to Carnegie Hall's Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair for 2013–2014 Season

    Season-Long Residency Includes Creating New Music, A Workshop for Young Composers and Chamber Ensembles, Presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in November 2013

    (NEW YORK)—Carnegie Hall today announced that acclaimed composer David Lang has been appointed as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair for the Hall’s upcoming 2013–2014 season. As a key element of his season-long residency, Mr. Lang will lead a special collaborative workshop in November 2013, offering commissioning opportunities for composers and chamber ensembles.

    Creating New Music will invite several young composers and chamber ensembles to work together on the creation and performance of new works specially commissioned by Carnegie Hall. For this six-day professional training workshop—presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute from November 15–20, 2013—Mr. Lang will be joined by Claire Chase and members of New York’s International Contemporary Ensemble as they coach the young artists through a dynamic process of collaboration, culminating with the public premieres of their new works in Zankel Hall. Composers and ensembles are invited to jointly apply for this opportunity by February 1, 2013. Those accepted into the workshop will be asked to submit commissioned scores by September 1, 2013. Complete workshop information can be found at carnegiehall.org/workshops.

    Details of concert activities associated with Mr. Lang’s Debs Composer’s Chair residency will be shared in late January 2013 as part of Carnegie Hall’s full 2013–2014 season announcement.

    “Over the years, Carnegie Hall has had the pleasure of working with David—a composer of remarkable talent and imagination—and we’ve featured his music frequently on our concert series,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with him closely on his programming for the coming season and are especially excited about his fall workshop. We’re certain that the young composers and ensembles involved will benefit greatly from his knowledge and musical insights.”

    "I am so excited to be working with Carnegie Hall, and so honored,” said Mr. Lang. “Carnegie has been a big part of my musical life—I am a composer because, when I was a boy, I saw one of Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, broadcast from Carnegie Hall. My first performance in New York was in 1982 with violinist Leslie Shank and pianist Jon Kimura Parker in Weill Recital Hall. My first orchestra performance anywhere was in the big hall, in 1984, as the first ever recipient of the New York Youth Symphony's revolutionary First Music commissioning program. And, of course, Carnegie commissioned my Pulitzer piece, the little match girl passion. Everyone knows that Carnegie Hall is central to the cultural life of the city but it is also central to the cultural life of me! I am very, very happy to be associated with Carnegie Hall and I am looking forward to having a really fun season."

    Throughout his career, Mr. Lang’s works have been featured prominently on programs at Carnegie Hall. the little match girl passion was co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Paul Hillier and Theatre of Voices and received its world premiere in Zankel Hall in 2007. Mr. Lang was subsequently awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music for the piece, a poignant adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable, The Little Match Girl, composed in the format of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The Harmonia Mundi recording of the little match girl passion was awarded a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Carnegie Hall most recently co-commissioned Mr. Lang’s death speaks, a companion piece to the little match girl passion. This new work received its New York premiere in Zankel Hall in January 2012.

    Creating New Music marks the first time that Mr. Lang will lead one of the Weill Music Institute’s Professional Training Workshops. The workshops—presented several times each season—are unique opportunities for emerging professional artists to explore performance and rehearsal practices as well as specialized repertoire with some of today’s leading musicians. A travel stipend and housing for participants from outside New York City is provided by Carnegie Hall. The workshops are tuition-free for participants and open for observation by auditors. Information on upcoming workshops and online applications are available at carnegiehall.org/workshops.

    Previous holders of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall are Osvaldo Golijov (2012–2013), Kaija Saariaho (2011–2012), Brad Mehldau (2010–2011), Louis Andriessen (2009–2010), Elliott Carter (2008–2009), Thomas Adès (2007–2008), John Adams (2003–2007), Pierre Boulez (1999–2003), and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (1995–1999).


    About David Lang
    Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. He is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.

    Mr. Lang’s pieces often resemble each other only in the fierce intelligence and clarity of vision that inform their structures. His catalogue is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber, and solo works are by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, and unsettling, but always emotionally direct. Much of his work seeks to expand the definition of virtuosity in music—even the deceptively simple pieces can be fiendishly difficult to play and require incredible concentration by musicians and audiences alike.

    In addition to the little match girl passion and death speaks, both co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Mr. Lang’s other recent projects include the evening-length stage work love fail with Anonymous 4, reason to believe for Trio Mediæval and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra; concerto (world to come), premiered by cellist Maya Beiser and the Norrlands Operans Symphony Orchestra; darker, premiered by Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles; plainspoken, a new work for choreographer Benjamin Millepied and the New York City Ballet; writing on water, for the London Sinfonietta, with libretto and visuals by English filmmaker Peter Greenaway; the difficulty of crossing a field, a staged opera for Kronos Quartet; loud love songs, a concerto for the percussionist Evelyn Glennie; and the oratorio Shelter, with co-composers Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe at the Next Wave Festival of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, staged by Ridge Theater and featuring the Norwegian vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval.

    Mr. Lang has several important works and premieres being performed this season. Following its world premiere in New Haven last season, his love fail will be seen by audiences in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Brooklyn. On December 23, The Crossing will perform the choral version of Mr. Lang's the little match girl passion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This same work will be staged by Francesca Zambello at Glimmerglass Opera next summer. The International Contemporary Ensemble will give the world premiere of Mr. Lang's the whisper opera in May and June as part of their residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL. Upcoming premieres include a concerto for So Percussion and orchestra, and an encore for violinist Hilary Hahn as part of her "In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores" project.

    Musical America’s 2013 Composer of the Year, Mr. Lang is one of America’s most performed composers. Audiences around the globe are hearing more and more of his work, in performances by the Santa Fe Opera, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Choir, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester, and Kronos Quartet; at Tanglewood, the BBC Proms, Münchener Biennale, Italy’s Settembre Musica Festival, Sydney’s Olympic Arts Festival in 2000, and the Almeida, Holland, Berlin, and Strasbourg festivals; in theater productions in New York, San Francisco, and London; alongside the choreography of Twyla Tharp, La La La Human Steps, Netherlands Dance Theater, and Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris; and at Lincoln Center, Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Barbican Centre.

    Mr. Lang is also the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Rome Prize, the BMW Music-Theater Prize (Munich), and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1999, he received a Bessie Award for his music in choreographer Susan Marshall’s The Most Dangerous Room in the House, performed live by the Bang on a Can All-Stars at the Next Wave Festival of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The Carbon Copy Building won the 2000 Village Voice Obie Award for Best New American Work, and the recording of the passing measures was named one of the best CDs of 2001 by The New Yorker. His recent CD, pierced, was praised both on the rock music website Pitchfork and in the classical magazine Gramophone. Mr. Lang contributed all the arrangements for the Kronos Quartet for the landmark film Requiem for a Dream, and scored the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Woodmans. The CD of the little match girl passion received the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance.

    Mr. Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can, and he is also a professor of composition at the Yale School of Music. His work has been recorded on the Sony Classical, Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, BMG, Point, Chandos, Argo/Decca, and Cantaloupe labels, among others.

    His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and is distributed worldwide by G. Schirmer, Inc.

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