Bang On A Can All-Stars


‘Bang on a Can is one of the few new-music names known around the world – for 30 years it has led the way with its bold programming and dynamic initiatives: the All-Stars, the People’s Commissioning Fund and its annual Marathon.’ Julian Day

Bringing rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities to the realm of chamber music, Bang on a Can All-Stars explodes the boundaries between high art and pop art. With a massive repertoire of works written specifically for the group’s distinctive instrumentation and style of performance, the All-Stars has become a genre unto itself, with its MEL&NYC performance at Melbourne Recital Centre a rare opportunity for Melbourne concert-goers to revel in the group’s exceptional talents and inventiveness.

Distinctive repertoire glimmers throughout the program, including commissions by Australian composers J.G. Thirlwell (Anabiosis, 2005) and Kate Moore (Ridgeway, 2009), and personal works by Bang on a Can co-founders David Lang and Michael Gordon. The eclectic program also features co-founder Julia Wolfe’s Believing, inspired by lines in the John Lennon song ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’; Philip Glass’ ‘Closing’ (1981) from his iconic chamber piece Glassworks; and fan-favourite Horses of Instruction (Steve Martland, 1994), which WNYC described as ‘a muscular jazz-funk summit between Reich and Stravinsky.’

The roots of Bang on a Can’s genius can be traced to David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon’s post-Yale University years in New York – a time when each was looking to kick-start their careers as composers. They made an incredible decision to try mixing composition with entrepreneurship by presenting a 12-hour new-music marathon at Exit Arts, a gallery at Broadway and Prince Street, in SoHo. With a structure in place, anything was possible, and tendrils sprang rapidly, with Bang on a Can All-Stars forming in 1992.

Describing themselves as a part classical, part rock, part jazz group, the six-member amplified Ensemble has shattered the definition of what concert music is today. In the many years since its formation Bang on a Can has become an audacious institution that comprises festivals, marathon concerts, publishing, recording, teaching, commissioning, touring – you name it, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars are its virtuoso heartbeat.

The group’s celebrated projects include landmark recordings of Brian Eno’s ambient cult classic Music for Airports and Terry Riley’s In C, as well as performances with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Don Byron, Owen Pallett and many others. Without a doubt, the Ensemble has come to mean much more to audiences than its music – bringing inspiration and a warm sense of community to everywhere it plays.

‘The country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music.’ The San Francisco Chronicle
‘A fiercely aggressive group, combining the power and punch of a rock band with the precision and clarity of a chamber ensemble.’ The New York Times


Tuesday 28 August 2018, 7.30pm
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall (90-mins no interval)
Bang on a Can All-Stars
Tickets $65 ($55 concession)
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and MEL&NYC

To listen to Bang on a Can All-Stars on Spotify, click here
Watch Bang on a Can All-Stars perform cheating, lying, stealing on YouTube here


Di Rolle | 0419 001 068