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SummerArts: MultiArts Festivals

Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (North Adams, MA)

MASS MoCA, 87 Marshall Street
North Adams
Click here for schedule

(July 9 – 29, 2012) Presented by the seminal new music collective Bang on a Can — founded in 1987 by contemporary composers Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang — this July festival takes place at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art each year. As an organization that eschews stylistic genres or restrictive labels, Lang calls Bang on a Can “a place where the homeless composers could all go.” The music written and performed as part of the festival is wide-ranging — seemingly, the only stipulation is that it be contemporary music that values risk-taking.

The Bang on a Can students benefit from coachings, master classes, and workshops with faculty members and guest artists well accomplished in the new music scene. In addition to works by the student and faculty composers, Bang on a Can’s summer residency showcases the compositions of such new music stalwarts as John Cage, Louis Andriessen, Osvaldo Golijov, and John Adams. The festival, also known as Banglewood (in reference to Tanglewood, Mssachusetts’ other, more mainstream summer music celebration), culminates in a six-hour marathon concert featuring students and faculty. (DK)

Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (accessible by BRTA buses 3, 31, and 33)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: Around 20 concerts/recitals during the 3-week festival, plus masterclasses and seminars
  • Ticket Prices: Concerts – $24; Talks – $5; Daily Gallery Recitals are free with museum admission – $15 Adults; $10 Students;
$5 children (6–16);
Free for children (5 and under)
  • Membership: Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Donors who give $100 or more receive 2 tickets to the Summer Marathon Concert and a free CD from Bang on a Can’s record label, Cantaloupe Music
  • Other Benefits: Bang Backer donors ($500) receive 1 ticket to the Benefit Bash dinner and concert; and a VIP pass for premium seating at the Bang on a Can Marathon and 2 complimentary tickets. Bang Benefactor donors ($5,000) receive one center stage premium table of up to 12 guests at the Benefit Bash dinner; luxury accommodations, meals and tickets for two to the Bang on a Can Summer Marathon; recognition as a lead sponsor of the Benefit; a full page ad in the Benefit Journal; season-long recognition as a lead sponsor of Bang on a Can at all of their concerts and programs; and up to 12 VIP passes for premium seating at the Bang on a Can Marathon.