pain changes from David Lang's 'death speaks' from Red Poppy Music on Vimeo.

David's video for "pain changes" from death speaks premieres today on Additionally, death speaks is released today in limited edition vinyl.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Here is an interview about the video with David, conducted by Shara Worden:


click to hear BBC 'man made' broadcast

Hi Everyone!

I am really excited that my piece 'man made' for So Percussion and orchestra is now up on the BBC site, ready to be heard.  'man made'  was co-commissioned by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and it premiered this past May at the Barbican, played by So and the BBC Symphony, conducted by Jayce Ogren.

You have to listen fast - the recording is only posted this week!  Only 5 more days left!

Since I wrote the piece for my friends in So Percussion I wanted to take advantage of the things they like to do - create theatrical environments, use weird things you don't usually think of as instruments, play super hard music that is intricate, oddly emotional and sometimes very loud. 


the whisper opera

Secrets Found Online, Shared Softly
David Lang’s ‘whisper opera’ Mines Truths From the Web
By WILLIAM ROBIN, August 2, 2013
Opera and technology have long had an uneasy relationship. The one has always required the other — from the Baroque spectacle of 17th-century operas, with their deus-ex-machina gimmickry, to the stagecraft required to mount any contemporary production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle.


the little match girl passion

From July 20 through August 22, 2013 Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY stages 2 works by David Lang, directed by Francesca Zambello. His Pulitzer Prize-winning choral work, the little match girl passion and a new work, when we were children, commissioned specifically for this performance by Glimmerglass Opera.  

August 10 - 13 Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival and the International Contemporary Ensemble (Tony Arnold, soprano) present the New York premiere of David Lang's the whisper opera for soprano and four instrumentalists, directed by Jim Findlay.


Rome is the set for Torino Vocal Ensemble, as they record David's piece 'I lie' for Paolo Sorrentino's new film La Grande Bellezza, conducted by Carlo Boccadoro.  The film's soundtrack also includes David's 'world to come.'

Here's a short clip of the group behind the scenes:

click here to listen to death speaks

NPR Music announced their 25 Favorite Albums of the Year (so far)... and David Lang's 'death speaks' is on their list!

Here's what they have to say about it:


David Lang, copyright 2013 Peter Serling

David Lang's newest work, the whisper opera, receives its world premiere on May 30 at the MCA in Chicago by the International Contemporary Ensemble with Tony Arnold as solo soprano.


As part of Nico Muhly's A Scream and an Outrage festival, The Barbican Centre features two premieres by David Lang.

On May 10, So Percussion and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Jayce Ogren, give the world premiere of Lang's concerto for percussion quartet and orchestra, man made. Lang combines found percussion (sticks, pipes, metal trash) with orchestral instruments in a unique and incredibly compelling work commissioned by the Barbican Centre and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Watch a video about the concerto with Lang and So Percussion.


David Lang's death speaks

"Art songs have been moving out of classical music in the last many years," writes composer David Lang. "Indie rock seems to be the place where Schubert’s sensibilities now lie, a better match for direct story telling and intimate emotionality."

Lang's death speaks, along with his work depart, is released on Cantaloupe music on April 30.

Click to purchase the recording

In death speaks -- co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Stanford Lively Arts, and written for Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Owen Pallett and Shara Worden -- Lang explores art song with the help of a group of classically trained artists who made their careers in the indie rock world.


David Lang is among 20 of America’s most vital artists working in the fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theatre announced by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) as recipients of the 2013 Doris Duke Artist Awards. 


click here to listen to death speaks

Although we all eventually face death, it's a topic most avoid — except perhaps for philosophers, who explain it to our heads, and artists, who present it to our hearts.

Composer David Lang offers something for both head and heart — and goes one step further in his new song cycle, Death Speaks. Here, death is less a lofty concept than a personality.


It's been a long time coming, but Shelter is finally here! 

The latest collaborative work by Michael GordonDavid Lang, and Julia Wolfe is a modern oratorio that reunites the Bang on a Can founders with Deborah Artman (author of the libretto for 2001's Lost Objects). Produced by Michael Riesman, this premiere recording was performed by Ensemble Signal under the baton of conductor Brad Lubman, and features solo voices Martha CluverMellissa Hughes and Caroline Shaw.


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.


A Haunting Tale, Perfect for Christmas
The Crossing in ‘The Little Match Girl Passion,’ at the Met


David Lang has been appointed as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair for Carnegie Hall's 2013–2014 season. Full details about the concert activities associated with his residency will be shared in late-January as part of Carnegie Hall's full 2013–2014 season announcement. But we can reveal that a key element of his season-long appointment includes a special collaborative workshop in November 2013, offering commissioning opportunities for composers and chamber ensembles.


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.


Musical America, now in its third century as the indispensable resource for the performing arts, announced the winners of the annual Musical America Awards, recognizing artistic excellence and achievement in the arts.

The announcement coincides with the publication of the 2013 Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts, which, in addition to its comprehensive industry listings, pays homage to each of these artists in its editorial pages.

The annual Musical America Awards, sponsored by Deutsche Grammophon will be presented in a special ceremony at Lincoln Center on Thursday, December 6.


November 9-11, The Nashville Opera presents David Lang's chamber opera the difficulty of crossing a field.

With this work, Lang and multi-Obie award-winning playwright Mac Wellman have created a radical cross between opera and theater mixing arias with spoken text, emotional melodies with intense drama, and featuring a string quartet as both the 'orchestra' and as part of the staging.


Click to watch Paul Hillier conduct the little match girl passion (chamber version)

On Saturday September 15, Paul Hillier and Rundfunkchor Berlin give the German premiere of David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-winning composition, the little match girl passion in its arrangement for full chorus.


On Saturday July 14 at 8pm at the World Financial Center Plaza, Lang's hour-long, slowly-evolving work for strings, darker, is the starting point for a live re-imagination by Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin), who will real time loop and electronically process the live string sound of A Far Cry Orchestra back over and on to themselves.


Lang's newest work, love fail, premieres June 29 at the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Performed by the legendary vocal ensemble Anonymous 4, love fail is an evening-length work that weaves together snippets of medieval courtly love narratives, short stories by MacArthur Fellow Lydia Davis, scraps from the libretto of Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde, and text by Lang himself.


At the Barbican Centre in London, on March 20, 2012, the Bang on a Can All-Stars premiere Field Recordings -- with new works by Gordon, Lang and Wolfe. The evening-length project that is as much a mystery as a concert – a kind of ghost story. The ghosts aren’t the physical presence of people gone before, but they are the ghosts of sounds, images, ideas, and voices. Each composer has been asked to find and interact with something recorded before, using the power of music made right in front of us to reach out to other things not present. 


This weekend, David Lang wrote a fun article for the New York Times!

"...It’s like car mechanics talking about the wiring under the hood — good wiring is essential but cars exist because ordinary people need to get places. So I was feeling isolated from the audience, and itching to get back into the real world, where the real listeners live..."

Check out the full article.

Listen to an interview with Paul Lazar.

David describes the epiphany he had at nine years old that lead to his life as a composer. He and Paul have a fun, freewheeling conversation amidst excerpts of David's music, with a little Steve Reich thrown in as well.

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