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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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interviews

BOMB Magazine

December 1, 2012

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David Lang is one of the most thoughtful composers working today. His music is consistently probing, emotionally urgent, strange, and beautiful. It is also getting simpler as the years roll on—a sign that the mind behind it is undergoing a kind of ritualistic purification. I’ve been obsessed with David’s music since I bought a recording by mail order of his piece cheating lying stealing when I was in high school, and I have written a piano piece called David Lang Needs a Hug…

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David Lang Profile in New York Times

DAVID LANG first heard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” at the San Francisco Opera in 1974, as an undergraduate student and aspiring composer. This was the first opera ticket — standing room — that he had paid for with his own money, and he arrived well prepared, with a copy of the score and a flashlight to study it by.

“It was a really big deal for me,” Mr. Lang, now 55, said recently, sitting on a sofa in his light-flooded SoHo loft while two parakeets called noisily for attention from another room…

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NYRB Review: ‘the loser’

Francine Prose9/13/2016 The Loser, David Lang’s beautiful and startlingly original opera, had its world premiere this month at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Composed for a solo baritone, a chamber ensemble, and a concert pianist, the opera (Lang not only wrote the music but is also responsible for the libretto and the stage direction) has been adapted from the Thomas Bernhard novel of the same name—a book which, since its publication in 1983, has attracted an almost cultish following…

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