David Lang — Carnegie Hall’s 2013–2014 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair — embodies the restless spirit of invention with his creation of new forms that defy categorization. The musically omnivorous creator references folk, pop, and jazz influences in his compositions, while at the same time being deeply rooted in the classical tradition.
His cultural openness also informs the performers with whom he collaborates. Building on his work with New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can, Lang has helped design a workshop—Creating New Music—in which young composers and chamber ensembles will be mentored in the process of creating, rehearsing, premiering, and promoting new works, commissioned specially for the occasion by Carnegie Hall.
In addition to performances of several of his own works this season, Lang has taken the opportunity to look beyond his compositions at a broader musical landscape by curating the collected stories project. Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Zankel Hall, the multi-genre series showcases different modes of storytelling in music, from medieval Beowulf to conceptual Cage to world premieres, pulling together disparate threads from past and present and across many traditions to highlight the ways music and narrative work together.