12 hours of free music at the Bang on a Can Marathon

The World Financial Center Winter Garden was packed for last year's Bang on a Can Marathon. (Photo copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Every year, the Bang on a Can Marathon brings a wide range of new music and spectacular performers to New York City to perform in a massive free concert — and this year is no exception. The Marathon is coming up in just two weeks, from noon to midnight on Sunday, June 27, at the World Financial Center Winter Garden at 220 Vesey Street in Lower Manhattan.

Burkina Electric, an African band organized by composer Lukas Ligeti (second from right) is just one of the great acts at the Bang on a Can Marathon.

This year’s program will, as always, feature Bang on a Can’s house band, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and a host of other great acts, including Living Colour’s eclectic guitarist Vernon Reid, African band Burkina Electric, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Signal ensemble and Gamelan Galak Tika.

Bang on a Can has been presenting these marathons since 1987 at various locations around NYC. Since moving to the WFC, thanks to the generosity of co-presenter Arts World Financial Center and the River to River festival, admission has been free. The Marathon turns the Winter Garden into a big, 12-hour party, with people coming and going and the mood shifting with the performers and the changing natural light pouring through the glass walls.

Click here to check out photos and coverage of last year’s Marathon by Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?

Click to the jump for the full list of performers and schedule.

The Bang on a Can All Stars at the 2009 Marathon. (Photo copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Here’s a press release with the schedule and more information:

On Sunday, June 27, from noon until midnight, Bang on a Can will present its annual Bang on a Can Marathon, at the River To River Festival, held for the fifth year at World Financial Center Winter Garden (220 Vesey Street, NYC) and co-presented by Arts World Financial Center. Founded in 1987, the Marathon is still FREE and this year brings together more than 150 astounding performers and composers from throughout the world, performing in numerous genres and experimental styles, for 12 hours of uninterrupted live, ear-bending, border-crossing music. The Bang on a Can Marathon is part of the 2010 River To River Festival, the city’s largest FREE summer arts festival.

As artistically inclusive as it is audience-friendly, Bang on a Can’s annual 12-hour Marathon has become one of the most diverse, most open and most exciting music events in the world. “Imagine Lollapalooza advised by the ghost of John Cage,” wrote Vanity Fair. “There are other places to hear new contemporary music, but it is seldom offered with such a potent blend of intensity, authority, and abandon.”

At least 10 new works will receive world or U.S. premieres during the 2010 Bang on a Can Marathon. Composers and performers hail from all over the world and include a Dutch avant-garde percussion ensemble, a German recorder quartet, musicians from Kyrgyzstan, the first electronica band from Burkina Faso in West Africa, a Balinese gamelan from Boston, and a New York new music group whose members are all under the age of 15.

Bang on a Can Marathons – past and present – on WNYC Radio and Q2:

The 2010 Bang on a Can Marathon is being recorded for broadcast in August on WNYC Radio’s New Sounds (www.wnyc.org/shows/newsounds) hosted by John Schaefer, and Q2, New York’s 24/7 online music stream (www.wqxr.org/q2). Leading up to the Marathon, New Sounds will broadcast excerpts from previous Marathons at 11pm on Thursday, June 24, 11pm on Friday, June 25, and streaming on demand after the original broadcast.  In addition, Q2 will launch “Cued Up on Q2,” a new summer festival of pioneering and invigorating new music recorded live in New York. “Cued Up on Q2” will debut on Sunday, June 27, coinciding with the 2010 Bang on a Can Marathon. The inaugural show will feature selections from previous Marathons, and will air at 2pm on Sunday, June 27, with encore presentations at 8pm on Tuesday, June 29 and at 4pm on Thursday, July 1.

2010 Bang on a Can Marathon Schedule

(Note that times are approximate and still subject to change. For updates visit www.bangonacan.org/marathon/schedule or follow @bangonacan on Twitter):


John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble featuring Jeremy Viner, Tony Malaby, Ellery Eskelin performing Hollenbeck’s Perseverance
Quartet New Generation performing Danse macabre*** by Dorothee Hahne, Black Box* by Mary Ellen Childs, and Flea Walls* by Moritz Eggert
Kambar Kalendarov & Kutman Sultanbekov from Kyrgyzstan performing Janglyk by Nurlanbek Nyshanov and traditional songs from Kyrgyzstan: Bek Tash, Kukuk, and Erke Kyz
Florent Ghys performing Simplement by Florent Ghys
Moritz Eggert performing Hammerklavier III: One Man Band by Moritz Eggert


Face the Music performing Mesh by Graham Fitkin
Jessica Schmitz, Eric Lamb, and Claire Chase performing Halftone (for 3 floutes and 3-channel 1-bit electronics)* by Tristan Perich
Steve Coleman, Jonathan Finlayson, and David Millares performing Formation – Lunar Eclipse by Steve Coleman
Slagwerk Den Haag performing DaDeRimGil*** by Seung-Ah Oh and Ludica by Marco Momi


JACK Quartet performing Tetras by Iannis Xenakis
Gamelan Galak Tika performing Tire Fire by Evan Ziporyn
Quartet New Generation w/ Moritz Eggert performing Oh, I am sorry, did I break your concentration? by Michiel Mensingh and Mortal Flesh by Paul Moravec
Bang on a Can All-Stars performing Snakes and Ladders by Fred Frith


Talea Ensemble performing Professor Bad Trip** by Fausto Romitelli
A performance by Buke and Gass
Moritz Eggert performing Hammerklavier V: Study in Fall** and Hammerklavier XX: One Man Band 2 by Moritz Eggert
Slagwerk Den Haag performing I Delayed People’s Flights By Walking Slowly In Narrow Hallways** by Mayke Nas & Wouter Snoei


Vernon Reid, Mazz Swift, and Leon Gruenbaum performing Ghost Narratives by Vernon Reid
Bang on a Can All-Stars performing Ridgeway by Kate Moore
A performance by Mira Calix
Bang on a Can All-Stars & Mira Calix performing spring falls back* by Mira Calix
Tim Brady performing Switch (Seconds / Liquid / Leaps / Singularity / Melismatic)** and Strumming (Hommage a John Lennon)** by Tim Brady with video by Martin Messier


Kambar Kalendarov & Kutman Sultanbekov from Kyrgyzstan performing Chyibyldyn Kyzynyn Koshogu by Asanbai Karimov, traditional song Tagyldyr Too, Mash Botoi by Atai Ogonbaev and Ala Too Jazy by Nurlanbek Nyshanov
Florent Ghys performing 4 by Florent Ghys
A performance by Burkina Electric
SIGNAL conducted by Brad Lubman performing Shelter by Bang on a Can co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe

* World premiere
** US premiere
*** NY Premiere

About Bang on a Can: Formed in 1987 by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe, Bang on a Can is dedicated to commissioning, performing, creating, presenting and recording contemporary music. With an ear for the new, the unknown and the unconventional, Bang on a Can strives to expose exciting and innovative music as broadly and accessibly as possible to new audiences worldwide. And through its Summer Festival, Bang on a Can hopes to bring this energy and passion for innovation to a younger generation of composers and players.

The San Francisco Chronicle has called Bang on a Can “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music.” Over the years, Bang on a Can has grown from a one-day festival to a multi-faceted organization. Projects include festival concerts and the annual Bang on a Can Marathon; 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 & Institute – a professional development program for young composers and performers; and cross-disciplinary collaborations and projects with DJs, visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and more. Bang on a Can’s innovative 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, visit http://www.bangonacan.org.

One response to “12 hours of free music at the Bang on a Can Marathon

  1. Pingback: Check out Buke and Gase perform upstate | Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?

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