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David Lang Wants to Be More Superficial

May 20, 2014
By Justin Davidson

In 1987, David Lang was a 30-year-old composer and doctoral student who, with his Yale buddies Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe, founded Bang on a Can, a scruffy organization dedicated to the proposition that all musics are created equal. These days, Lang is an eminence: Pulitzer Prize winner, member of the Yale faculty, and composer in residence at Carnegie Hall for 2013-14. Justin Davidson talked with him midway through “collected stories,” a six-concert festival he curated at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and days before the release of his recordinglove/fail…

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Biography

“With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one of the most original and moving scores of recent years), Lang, once a postminimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.”
— The New Yorker

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

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