Bang on a Can Announces 

Performances from All Four 2020 Online Marathons Available On-Demand from
December 24, 2020 – January 1, 2021 at


Bang on a Can 2020 Marathons Live Online

24 Hours 

90+ Performances 

130+ Performers and Composers


“For 33 years Bang on a Can has seared an indelible mark on musical culture, and in

2020 the New York-based festival still managed to carry an iconoclastic punch” The Strad


Brooklyn, NY — Bang on a Can will stream performances from all four 2020 Bang on a Can Online Marathons – “A Marathon of Marathons” for on-demand viewing from December 24, 2020 – January 1, 2021 at Each online Marathon in 2020 (May 3, June 14, August 16, and October 18) featured performances from musicians’ homes around the country and across the world –  a total of 95 performances including 31 world premieres of new commissions and over 130 composers and performers. All Marathon performers and composers participating live have been compensated by Bang on a Can. In all, Bang on a Can signed more than 150 paychecks to working artists to create and play the music on these marathons. The online collection also includes dozens of artist conversations with Bang on a Can Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, who interviewed many of the composers throughout the 24 hours of Marathon concert streams.


All videos will be free to stream. But as the entire ecosystem of composers and performers still needs assistance, viewers are encouraged to consider purchasing a ticket as doing so will enable Bang on a Can to do more performances, pay more players, commission more composers, and share more music worldwide. Bang on a Can plans to continue presenting online performances as long as the closure of presenting venues continues, and perhaps beyond.


Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe say:

Bang on a Can recognized in March of 2020 that we needed to shift EVERYTHING, and fast. Like so many other performing arts groups, we were staring at the possibility of months of paralysis. Watching friends and colleagues lose nearly all of their work opportunities was heartbreaking, and we began to brainstorm on how best to keep musicians working and paid, and to keep audiences engaged, as part of this sudden process of survival and transformation.

We turned to the place where it all began for us – the Bang on a Can Marathon. We quickly learned the tools necessary to stream performances from people’s homes and studios, and to engage with tens of thousands of viewers worldwide. In this new virtual world we’ve been able to curate and commission more widely than ever. The breadth of composition, creativity, and performance has been astounding. And we are just getting started.

To date we’ve aired each live performance once. Having recently looked through the 90+ performances and interviews, we are inspired to share all of the music and conversations in an end-of-year celebration – a testimonial and toast to the amazing creativity and perseverance of our global music community during 2020. To our audiences and friends worldwide – we hope you enjoy this holiday gift. 

The on-demand video collection (subject to change) includes:

Newly commissioned works (chronological: May 3, June 14, August 16, October 18)

Ken Thomson Birds and Ambulances

Molly Joyce Purity

Dai Wei Song for Shades of Crimson

Helena Tulve Without love atoms would stop spinning

Aeryn Santillan disconnect.

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė Abyssal Zone

Tomeka Reid Lamenting G.F., A.A., B.T., T.M.

Susanna Hancock Everything In Bloom

Ailie Robertson The Bells are All Silent

Kendall Williams Bass and Things

Carla Kihlstedt New Work 

Leila Adu Black-Crowned Night-Heron

Shara Nova Hidden in Plain Sight

Nicole Mitchell A Much Deserved Ass Whooping

Dobrinka Tabakova Simple Prayer for Complex Times

Teddy Abrams You Can’t Stop The Revolution

Fjóla Evans Eggshell 

Brad Lubman can you make a prayer?

Rajna Swaminathan Consilience

Nick Dunston Fainting Is Down, Whooshing is Up

Annika Socolofsky Bolder (world premiere)

Samson Young Super Dark Energy

Annie Gosfield Curveballs and Asteroids

Christina Wheeler A Coda for the Totality of Blackness Trilogy

Jeffrey Brooks Santuario

Greg Saunier John Paul George and Ringo Pry Open the Gates of Hell

Gemma Peacocke Fear of Flying

William Parker Hum Spirituals

Valgeir Sigurðsson Brevis

Daniel Bernard Roumain Why Did They Kill Sandra Bland?

Krists Auznieks Arise


Program Information

Bang on a Can Marathon Program May 3 2020

Meredith Monk

Cassie Wieland Heart performed by Adam Holmes

Robert Honstein Orison performed by Ashley Bathgate                               

Vijay Iyer 

Anna Clyne Rapture performed by Eileen Mack 

George Lewis Voyager

Adam Cuthbért           

Shelley Washington Black Mary performed by Ken Thomson 

Martin Bresnick Ishi’s Song performed by Lisa Moore

Ken Thomson Birds and Ambulances (world premiere) performed by Robert Black

Nathalie Joachim 

David T. Little Hellhound performed by Maya Beiser

Miya Masaoka Music for ichi-ten-kin, or one string koto

Meara O’Reilly

Vinko Globokar Toucher performed by Steven Schick

Zoë Keating 

Moor Mother 

Philip Glass Knee Play 2 from Einstein on the Beach performed by Tim Fain

Mark Stewart To Whom it May Concern: Thank You 

Mary Halvorson

Molly Joyce Purity performed by David Cossin

Ian Chang 

Steve Reich Vermont Counterpoint performed by Claire Chase

Dai Wei Songs for Shades of Crimson (world premiere) performed by Todd Reynolds

John Adams China Gates performed by Vicky Chow               


Bang on a Can Marathon Program June 14 2020

Rhiannon Giddens

Helena Tulve Without love atoms would stop spinning (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko 

Aeryn Santillan disconnect. (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson 

Alvin Curran Shofar Rags XXL

Ted Hearne Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė Abyssal Zone (world premiere) performed by Robert Black

Nik Bӓrtsch (video not available)

Iva Bittová

Roscoe Mitchell 

Paula Matthusen of an implacable subtraction performed by Dana Jessen 

Tomeka Reid Lamenting G.F., A.A., B.T., T.M. (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow

Nico Muhly (video not available)

Susanna Hancock EVERYTHING IN BLOOM (world premiere) performed by Nick Photinos 

Don Byron

Ailie Robertson The Bells are All Silent (world premiere) performed by Gregg August 

Tim Brady At Sergio’s Request (world premiere)

Judd Greenstein In Teaching Others We Teach Ourselves performed by Nadia Sirota

Pamela Z

Alex Weiser Music from ‘and all the days were purple’ performed by Eliza Bagg

Kendall Williams Bass and Things (world premiere) performed by David Cossin

Carla Kihlstedt New Work (world premiere)

Frederic Rzewski Which side are you on? performed by Conrad Tao

Leila Adu Black-Crowned Night-Heron (world premiere) performed by Mark Stewart 

Terry Riley


Bang on a Can Marathon Program August 16, 2020

Wu Man

Nicole Mitchell A Much Deserved Ass Whooping (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson

Dobrinka Tabakova Simple Prayer for Complex Times (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow

Missy Mazzoli Vespers for Violin (solo) performed by Olivia De Prato

Teddy Abrams You Can’t Stop The Revolution (world premiere) performed by himself

Fjóla Evans Eggshell  (world premiere) performed by Kendall Williams

Shara Nova Hidden in Plain Sight (world premiere) performed by herself

Brad Lubman can you make a prayer? (world premiere) performed by Lauren Radnofsky

Leyla McCalla

Jacob Cooper Expiation (edit) performed by Jodie Landau

Kaki King

Scott Wollschleger Tiny Oblivion performed by Karl Larson

Rajna Swaminathan Consilience (world premiere) performed by herself

Nick Dunston Fainting Is Down, Whooshing is Up (world premiere) performed by Robert Black

Phil Kline The Best Words performed by Theo Bleckmann with Dan Tepfer/Todd Reynolds

Marcos Balter …and also a fountain performed by Rebekah Heller

Oliver Lake

Annea Lockwood RCSC performed by Sarah Cahill

Paola Prestini From the Bones to the Fossils performed by Jeffrey Zeigler

Craig Taborn

Annika Socolofsky Bolder (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko

Samson Young Super Dark Energy (world premiere) performed by David Cossin

György Ligeti The Devil’s Staircase performed by Jeremy Denk


Bang on a Can Marathon Program October 18, 2020

George Crumb A Little Midnight Music (selections) performed by Susan Grace

Annie Gosfield Curveballs and Asteroids (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson

Christina Wheeler A Coda for the Totality of Blackness Trilogy (world premiere)

Alvin Singleton Argoru II performed by Seth Parker Woods


Jeffrey Brooks Santuario (world premiere) performed by Mark Stewart

Mazz Swift Give up the world 

Greg Saunier John Paul George and Ringo Pry Open the Gates of Hell (premiere) perf by David Cossin

Gemma Peacocke Fear of Flying (world premiere) performed by Nathalie Joachim

David Longstreth 

John Fitz Rogers Come Closer performed by Mike Harley

William Parker Hum Spirituals (world premiere)

Leaha Maria Villarreal The Warmth of Other Suns performed by Andie Tanning

Tyshawn Sorey 

Tania León Paisanos Semos! and Bailarín performed by JIJI

Anna Webber 

Christopher Cerrone Liminal Highway (first 2 mvmts) performed by Tim Munro

Valgeir Sigurðsson Brevis (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow

Nels Cline & Yuka C. Honda

Daniel Bernard Roumain Why Did They Kill Sandra Bland? (premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko

Du Yun 

Krists Auznieks Arise (world premiere) performed by Robert Black

Bill Frisell 


About Bang on a Can: Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new. Since its first Marathon concert in 1987, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. With adventurous programs, it commissions new composers, performs, presents, and records new work, develops new audiences, and educates the musicians of the future. Bang on a Can is building a world in which powerful new musical ideas flow freely across all genres and borders. Bang on a Can plays “a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn’t concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come.” (The New York Times)

Bang on a Can has grown from a one-day New York-based Marathon concert (on Mother’s Day in 1987 in a SoHo art gallery) to a multi-faceted performing arts organization with a broad range of year-round international activities. “When we started Bang on a Can, we never imagined that our 12-hour marathon festival of mostly unknown music would morph into a giant international organization dedicated to the support of experimental music, wherever we would find it,” write Bang on a Can Co-Founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. “But it has, and we are so gratified to be still hard at work, all these years later. The reason is really clear to us – we started this organization because we believed that making new music is a utopian act – that people needed to hear this music and they needed to hear it presented in the most persuasive way, with the best players, with the best programs, for the best listeners, in the best context. Our commitment to changing the environment for this music has kept us busy and growing, and we are not done yet.”


In addition to its festivals LOUD Weekend at MASS MoCA and LONG PLAY, current projects include The People’s Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world every year; recording projects; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a professional development program for young composers and performers led by today’s pioneers of experimental music; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can’s extreme street band that offers mobile performances re-contextualizing unusual music; Found Sound Nation, a new technology-based musical outreach program now partnering with the State Department of the United States of America to create OneBeat, a revolutionary, post-political residency program that uses music to bridge the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries; cross-disciplinary collaborations and projects with DJs, visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and more. Each new program has evolved to answer specific challenges faced by today’s musicians, composers and audiences, in order to make innovative music widely accessible and wildly received. Bang on a Can’s inventive and aggressive approach to programming and presentation has created a large and vibrant international audience made up of people of all ages who are rediscovering the value of contemporary music. Bang on a Can has also recently launched its new digital archive, CANLAND, an extensive archive of its recordings, videos, posters, program books, and more. Thirty-three years of collected music and associated ephemera have been digitized and archived online and is publicly accessible in its entirety at For more information about Bang on a Can, please visit


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