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Bang on a Can Announces Second Bang on a Can Marathon Live Online!
Source: Jensen Artists


Brooklyn, NY — Bang on a Can will present its second Bang on a Can Marathon – Live Online – on Sunday, June 14, 2020 from 3-9pm ET. The first six-hour online Marathon on May 3, 2020 featured 25 live performances and was viewed by over 22,000 people around the world. The upcoming June 14 Marathon will expand the geography and include 25 live performances with musicians connecting from around the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Scotland, Italy, Ireland, and Japan, plus ten world premieres of newly commissioned works. Bang on a Can plans to continue these Marathons periodically, streaming online at, until live performances can resume.


The concert begins with a performance by Rhiannon Giddens at 3pm, live from Ireland, and concludes with a performance by Terry Riley, live from Japan. Additional highlights include performances by Roscoe Mitchell, Nico Muhly, Conrad Tao, Pamela Z, and many more. Guest composers and performers will join for conversations in between performances with Bang on a Can Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe who say: 


Once is not enough! For six straight hours on May 3rd Bang on a Can tried to make us all forget our current isolation with a marathon concert of amazing composers and performers from around the globe. We had a blast doing it, but we noticed something as soon as it was over. We are all still isolated! Listeners everywhere are still hungry for connection! An entire ecosystem of composers and performers still needs our attention, and our love, and our financial support! So we are having another marathon on June 14th. Six more hours of uncompromisingly adventurous, searching music, including 10 brand new works commissioned especially for the day - 10 radically innovative composers premiering 10 mind-blowing new works played by 10 unstoppable virtuosi. Plus a lot of other incredible stuff. We are all sheltering in place, just like you. But we really need to be together. For a few hours on June 14th we will be. Please join us.


The Marathon will be free to stream and all Marathon performers and commissioned composers are being compensated by Bang on a Can. 


A core feature of program will be ten world premieres of newly commissioned works:


Leila Adu New Work (world premiere) performed by Mark Stewart

Aaron Garcia New Work (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson

Susanna Hancock New Work (world premiere) performed by Nick Photinos

Carla Kihlstedt New Work (world premiere) performed by Carla Kihlstedt

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė New Work (world premiere) performed by Robert Black 

Shara Nova New Work (world premiere) performed by Shara Nova

Helena Tulve New Work (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko

Ailie Robertson New Work (world premiere) performed by Gregg August

Tomeka Reid New Work (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow

Kendall Williams New Work (world premiere) performed by David Cossin


Bang on a Can Marathon June 14, 2020 featuring: 


Rhiannon Giddens, Terry Riley, Roscoe Mitchell, Nico Muhly, Leila Adu, Aaron Garcia, Susanna Hancock, Carla Kihlstedt, Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, Shara Nova, Ailie Robertson, Tomeka Reid, Helena Tulve, Kendall Williams, Nik Bӓrtsch, Iva Bittova, Tim Brady, Don Byron, Alvin Curran, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, Paula Matthusen, Frederic Rzewski, Alex Weiser, Pamela Z, Gregg August, Eliza Bagg, Robert Black, Vicky Chow, David Cossin, Arlen Hlusko, Dana Jessen, Nick Photinos, Nadia Sirota, Mark Stewart, Conrad Tao, Ken Thomson


Marathon Program Info [Full Schedule to be announced soon]


The marathon kicks off withcomposer, singer, songwriter, historian, archivist, and activist Rhiannon Giddens. She has dedicated her life to exploring American roots – where our music and our culture come from, the debts we all owe to our forebears and to each other.


The marathon will conclude with Terry Riley, live! The man and the myth, minimalist godfather Terry Riley joins us directly from the middle of a remote rice field in Japan (where he is sheltering from being on tour) in an early celebration of his 85th birthday.




Bang on a Can has been sheltering in place with a bunch of new music! For the June 14 marathon, they have commissioned 10 radically uncompromising composers to create 10 mind blowing new works for 10 unstoppable virtuosi.


Hailing from New Zealand, with roots in Ghana, composer/singer Leila Adu explores the seams between politics and music performance. We have commissioned her to write a brand new work for Bang on a Can All-Star guitarist Mark Stewart.


Aaron Garcia is a punk band screamer, a guitarist, and creator of confrontational music. He is writing a new work for Bang on a Can All-Star clarinetist Ken Thomson.


Susanna Hancock composes spatial sonic waves, and is a founder of the young all-women composer collective Kinds of Kings. She’ll be writing a new work for superb cellist Nick Photinos.


Carla Kihlstedt writes jangling, heartfelt poetic ballads to sing and fiddle. For this performance, she is writing a brand new solo for herself.


Lithuanian composer Žibuoklė Martinaitytė writes music that glows with a mystical, energetic power! For her new work she teams up with Bang on a Can All-Star bassist Robert Black.


Avant songstress Shara Nova – aka My Brightest Diamond - will enchant us with a new song for herself on guitar and voice, commissioned especially for the Marathon.


Cellist/composer and jazz artist improviser Tomeka Reid is a powerhouse. She’ll be creating a new work for Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow


All the way from Scotland,composer/harpist/folk musician Ailie Robertson will write a new work for the multi-genre virtuoso bassist Gregg August.


Estonian composer and ECM artist Helena Tulve is a Northern light all by herself. Her music is emotional, introspective, and elegant, and she’ll be writing for the young dynamic cellist Arlen Hlusko.


Composer and steel pan specialist Kendall Williams writes intricate tuneful and rhythmic music, drawing from his Trinidadian roots. Kendall brings his unique voice to a new work for Bang on a Can All-Star percussionist David Cossin.




Ritual Groove Music is the title of Swiss composer-pianist Nik Bӓrtsch’s first CD, and one that opens the door to his possessed musical mind. Big interlocking and obsessive circular rhythms are the compelling architectural foundation of Bӓrtsch’s universe. Enter!


Live from the Czech Republic! Composer/violinist/vocalist Iva Bittová embodies her own disarmingly charming and ferociously intimate folk-like tunes.


Canadian composer, guitarist, bandleader, Tim Brady is dedicated to establishing and advancing music for electric guitar across genres and disciplines. Known for his massive guitar works, tonight he plays solo, premiering a new work currently titled At Sergio’s Request.


Don Byron is a composer, jazz scholar, klezmer wiz, and one of the brilliant clarinetists of our day. For over 20 years he has been a frequent collaborator of Bang on a Can – touring and recording with the All-Stars, and as a featured guest at our Summer Festival at MASS MoCA. One of the greats!


Distinguished experimental expat composer Alvin Curran makes music out of the sounds and objects he has around him. For this concert, that would be Shofar Rags XXL, a piece for shofar and a broken down portable cement mixer. All the way from Rome!


Judd Greenstein is one of our most productive musical citizens. Composer and co-founder of both New Amsterdam Records and the Ecstatic Festival – Judd is an essential part of music in New York. The multi-faceted violist Nadia Sirota performs Judd’s In Teaching Others We Teach Ourselves.


Composer, singer, conductor Ted Hearne creates intense, personal, multi-dimensional works. Here he’ll perform his Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job - an excerpt from his blistering Katrina Ballads.


Composer/sound installation artist Paula Matthusen is known for mixed and fixed media-based electroacoustic music. The boundary bashing bassoonist Dana Jessen takes on her piece of an implacable subtraction.


Legendary American musician Roscoe Mitchell has spent almost all of his almost 80 years pushing musical limits. Renowned worldwide as a leading force in the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Mitchell is a true pioneer of experimental music.


Nico Muhly has charted his own uniquely transcendent path between new music and indie pop, making him equally welcome collaborating with Björk and with the Metropolitan Opera, as a sought after composer, pianist, producer, and music advocate. 


Eminent American pianist and composer Frederic Rzewski is known for highly charged political content in his music. In Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, Rzewski evokes a scene of workers at the textile mill in Winnsboro, South Carolina by pinning the ragtime folk tune against a rumbling underbelly to reflect the suffering of factory laborers. Performed by the brilliant pianist Conrad Tao.


Alex Weiser’s recent album, and all the days were purple, containing bittersweet Yiddish songs sung by Eliza Bagg, made him a finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize. Hear why!


Pamela Z – half composer, half performer, half machine! Pioneering composer-singer Pamela Z’s brings us her own miraculous combination of operatic bel canto and live digital looping.


Bassist Gregg August’s passion for music knows no boundaries and has led him to virtuosic versatility in classical, jazz, Latin music, and more. A frequent collaborator with Bang on a Can, Gregg premieres a new work by Scottish composer Ailie Robertson.


Electrifying and ethereal soprano and multi-dimensional performer, Eliza Bagg lives and works coast to coast in experimental chamber music, opera, pop, dance and theater. Recently she recorded Alex Weiser’s and all the days were purple, runner-up for this year’s Pulitzer, which she’ll sing here.


Founding and current Bang on a Can All-Star bassist Robert Black tours the world constantly unearthing unheard-of music for the solo double bass. Matched here with mystical and energetic composer Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, for a new work hot off the press. 


Vicky Chow, powerhouse pianist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, premieres a new piece by composer/jazz improviser Tomeka Reid.


Bang on a Can All-Star percussionist-drummer-producer David Cossin is a superstar specialist in new and experimental music. Composer/steel drum virtuoso Kendall Williams offers him a new piece to premiere. 


Arlen Hlusko is a brilliant cellist with a powerful sound and a deep commitment to community engagement through music. Estonian composer Helena Tulve brings her a brand new piece.


Breathtaking bassoonist Dana Jessen is on a mission to open your ears and mind to what the bassoon can do. Her dedication to commissioning and recording new works for bassoon has few rivals, and Paula Matthusen’s of an implacable subtraction for bassoon and electronics is a regular anchor of her concert performances.


Ace cellist Nick Photinos is a foremost performer, commissioner, and advocate for new innovative music and a founding member of the ensemble Eighth Blackbird. Also a longtime faculty at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, he will premiere a fresh work from composer Susanna Hancock.


From years championing new repertoire, Nadia Sirota has helped make the viola one of the hippest instruments on the planet. Here she performs Judd Greenstein’s many-layered In Teaching Others We Teach Ourselves.


Bang on a Can All-Star and musical wizard Mark Stewart is a virtuoso guitarist, singer, instrument inventor, who plucks, bows, beats, and breathes life into countless sound-making devices. Here he takes on a new commission for electric guitar by avant pop composer/singer Leila Adu


Conrad Tao is like one of those composer/pianist giants from a previous era. Playing with all the orchestras, writing his own concerti, possessed of a cool demeanor and extraordinary technique. And still only 25 years old! He will perform Frederic Rzewski's powerful and churning Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues.


Bang on a Can All-Star and reed guru Ken Thomson is a passionate performer and also a composer increasingly known for his harmonic and rhythmic complexity and a punk-rock aesthetic. He’ll play a new work by Aaron Garcia.



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. For more information about Bang on a Can, please visit

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