The New York Times features Bang on a Can Online Marathon on May 3

April 27, 2020

Bang on a Can will present an ALL LIVE Bang on a Can Marathon on Sunday, May 3, 2020 from 3pm-9pm ET. The Marathon will be streamed online, featuring 26 LIVE performances from musicians' homes in NYC and around the country. 


"The emphasis on Sunday aims to be, as it always has been, on free-spirited variety, representation across musical generations and the intermingling of genres and artistic scenes," according to The New York Times, who interviewed Bang on a Can Co-Founders and Artistic Directors David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe to find out more about how their previous festival format has been transformed due to COVID-19. 


Wolfe explains, "It really came after a lot of discussion and soul-searching about what is important. Everyone’s getting compensated. We talked about a lot of different approaches — and came back to what we do. We started with a marathon in 1987. Over the years we’ve had so many amazing soloists; the Bang on a Can All-Stars [the collective’s resident ensemble] is made up of people who appeared as soloists. So we’re very oriented toward spectacular individual players." Gordon adds, "Part of the reason it takes so long to get a physical festival together is that everyone has to come to New York... And then all of a sudden you also realize no one’s traveling. There’s no conflicts. It’s lightning speed, putting this together." 


The concert begins with a performance by Meredith Monk at 3pm and concludes with a performance by Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow playing John Adams’ China Gates. Additional highlights include Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint performed by flutist Claire Chase, performances by Vijay Iyer, Maya Beiser, Shara Nova, Nathalie Joachim, and many more. The 6-hour live Marathon will be hosted by Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.


The Marathon will feature more than 40 participating artists, over two dozen solo performances, and four world premieres of newly commissioned works by Dai Wei, Shara Nova, Molly Joyce, and Ken Thomson. Guest composers will be online to introduce their works.


The Marathon will be free to stream and all Marathon performers and commissioned composers are being compensated by Bang on a Can. For more information about Bang on a Can, please visit


Bang on a Can 2020 Marathon Performance Schedule


Sunday, May 3, 2020 from 3pm-9pm ET

(Set times are approximate)


3:00     Meredith Monk                                                                                                                                 Cassie Wieland’s Heart performed by Adam Holmes                                                                 Robert Honstein’s Orison performed by Ashley Bathgate                                                         Vijay Iyer


4:00     Anna Clyne’s Rapture performed by Eileen Mack

             George Lewis’ Voyager

             Shara Nova – New Work (world premiere)

             Adam Cuthbért           


5:00     Shelley Washington’s Black Mary performed by Ken Thomson

             Martin Bresnick’s Ishi’s Song performed by Lisa Moore

             Ken Thomson – New Work (world premiere) performed by Robert Black

             Nathalie Joachim

             David T. Little’s Hellhound performed by Maya Beiser


6:00     Miya Masaoka’s music for ichi-ten-kin, or one string koto

             Meara O’Reilly

             Vinko Globokar’s Toucher performed by Steven Schick

             Zoë Keating


7:00     Moor Mother

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

             Mark Stewart’s To Whom it May Concern: Thank You

             Mary Halvorson


8:00     Molly Joyce – New Work (world premiere) performed by David Cossin

             Ian Chang

             Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint performed by Claire Chase

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


             John Adams’ China Gates performed by Vicky Chow              

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