(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – While new-music collective Bang on a Can has been busy all year celebrating its quarter-century anniversary since its founding in New York City in 1987, it also is marking a landmark year in the Berkshires, commencing the second decade of its summer residency at MASS MoCA, including a summer institute, a summer Bang on Can Marathon, all-star concerts, sound installations, gallery performances, jam sessions, guest appearances by internationally renowned composers and musicians, and camping trips – informally known as “Banglewood” to all.
From Wednesday, July 11, 2012, through Saturday, July 28, 2012, MASS MoCA explodes with the sounds of the 11th annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, part of Bang on a Can’s 25th birthday year. The Festival is dedicated entirely to today’s most exciting, fresh, and innovative new music and includes public performances, recitals, and lectures.
As PBS’s NewsHour reported, “If Tanglewood – classical music’s far better known summer festival, just 30 miles down the road – is the bastion of tradition, ‘Banglewood’ – as the folks here like to call this gathering – is home to the experimental, with everything from a contemporary duet to a Balinese monkey chant.”
Festival highlights this year include daily gallery recitals at 1:30 pm (Monday through Friday) and 4:30 pm (Monday through Saturday), free with museum admission; a performance of Philip Glass’s music featuring Symphony No. 3 arranged for string sextet, on July 21 (4:30 pm); a concert by the inimitable Bang on a Can All-Stars as they perform their brand new evening length masterpiece Field Recordings with guests Nick Zammuto and Todd Reynolds, on July 21 (8 pm); and the annual Bang on a Can Summer Marathon on July 28 (from 4 to 10 pm), featuring more than thirty musicians and composers from around the world for six hours of non-stop, boundary smashing music – a feast of sound including classical, contemporary, minimalism, ambient, jazz, experimental, and more.
This year’s festival will feature the music of special guest Steve Reich. In addition, on Monday, July 23 (4:30 pm), during the free Composer Premiere Concert, festival ensembles will premiere seven brand new works written by Banglewood festival composition fellows: Samuel Crawford, Daniel Dehaan, Fjola Evans, Molly Fishman, Yotam Haber, Loren Loiacono, Mike Perdue, and John Supko.
The 2012 Festival faculty members will be drawn from among the most innovative musicians of our time including Gregg August (bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello), Vicky Chow (piano), David Cossin (percussion), Michael Gordon (composition), David Lang (composition), Brad Lubman (conducting), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Vicky Ray (piano), Todd Reynolds (violin), Ken Thomson, (saxophone/clarinet), Julia Wolfe (composition), and more special guests to be announced. Energetic African drumming and dance master Nani Agbeli from Ghana will teach for the first week of the festival. The Festival will be attended by seven composers and 30 performers traveling to North Adams from across the United States and around the world, coming from countries as far away as Uzbekistan.